Wimbledon to test Murray’s mettle and metal

Andy Murray - has a fan in Jose Mourinho
Andy Murray’s decision to return to competitive tennis after a lengthy stint on the sidelines due to a hip injury will materialise at Wimbledon this month.
Murray is currently 32 years old and recently underwent a hip resurfacing procedure that is associated with those who are almost two decades older.

Risky business

The winner of three Grand Slam titles and two Olympic gold medals is so hungry for another triumph, or at least the opportunity to take to the lush green lawns of London again, that he has effectively cut short his recovery time.
What he is trying to do is pretty risky, according to Winston Kim – one of the surgeons who operated on Murray. It’s not going to be a straightforward comeback and fans and critics alike will trust that it does more good than damage. The last thing that the coveted British tournament needs is one of its favourite sons crashing out really soon due to a recurring injury. That’s not good for anyone. Perhaps Murray should have taken the rest of the year to recover – or maybe now really is the time to test his mettle. This physical mettle, if it doesn’t succeed, might require metal in the future. Indeed, hip replacement might be required if the recent procedure doesn’t work in the long run.

Doubles,  no?

A bit of a dabble in doubles tennis could have been a oathr that Murray might have explored. Instead, no, the singles stalwart has opted for full tilt in his favoured format. And there’s hope therein, too.
American doubles player Bob Bryan progressed to the quarter-finals of the Australian Open and clinched the Miami Open this season after undergoing hip resurfacing last year.
Murray, like Bryan, has had the added responsibility and difficult of extra fitness hours in the gym. This challenge, after all, is not just about the injury itself and the operation on the day, but the additional time spent in rehabilitation. It’s where the physical ailment truly tests the mental constitution of an athlete – and shows how much they really do or don’t want that comeback.

Don’t ignore the signs

Kim’s colleague and fellow surgeon Adam Hoad-Reddick noted that Murray’s mental game will need to be as good as, if not better, than his tennis amid a taxing return. Murray is a grumpy character on court at the best of times, but onlookers will have every opportunity to read into his grimacing and pained smirks than previously. There will be more to the expressions than before, no doubt.
At the end of the day though, be that after a round one exit, quarter-final goodbye or whenever, Murray is the only one who can judge and decide whether there is top-class tennis left in him – injury and all.