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Andy Murray hoping to make singles return by the end of 2019

Hannah Wilks in News 12 Jun 2019
  • Andy Murray hoping to return to singles by the end of 2019
  • 'Baby steps': Murray says he might not be ready to play the US Open
  • Murray makes his return to competition in doubles at Queen's Club next week
Andy Murray is hoping to make a return to singles by the end of 2019 (PA Sports)

Andy Murray is hoping to make his singles return by the end of 2019.

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Ahead of his return to competition in the doubles draw at Queen's Club next week, Andy Murray revealed that he hopes to be back playing singles matches by the end of the season.

Murray warned he might not be ready to return in time for the US Open in late August, however.

The three-time Grand Slam champion missed the last six months of the 2017 season due to a hip injury, and only played 12 matches in 2018 as he struggled to manage the injury and the pain. In an emotional press conference at the Australian Open in January, Murray hinted at retirement, but his prospects have looked up since undergoing hip resurfacing surgery later that month.

Murray is now hoping to follow in the footsteps of doubles specialist Bob Bryan, who underwent the same operation on his hip and has made a successful return to competition, although no player has so far successfully done so in singles.

Murray has been spotted hitting balls at the All-England Club with various practice partners, including Dan Evans and Anett Kontaveit, and will make his return to competition next week at the Fever-Tree Championships, which begins on Monday 17 June. Murray, who owns a record five Queen's Club singles titles, will be playing doubles with 2017 champion Feliciano Lopez.

If all goes well at Queen's Club, Murray may play doubles at Wimbledon.

The former world no. 1 confirmed that he will not be playing singles during the upcoming grass-court season, but acknowledged that he is hopeful of making a return to singles by the end of 2019.

'I hope at some stage this year I would be able to get back to playing singles again,' Murray said. 'It’s baby steps just now. I’m feeling good, pretty much pain free and am enjoying just training, practising and improving all the time just now. I don’t think when Wimbledon finishes that I will just step onto the singles court the following week and everything will be good. I still have quite a lot of work to do before I’m at a level where I feel like I’ll be able to be competitive.

'At this moment I’ve been progressing all of the time. At some stage it’s probably going to plateau for a while before I’m able to kick on. When that is, I’m not really interested in putting a time limit on it because I’m quite happy just now, so I don’t need to play singles after Wimbledon or at the US Open to enjoy doing what I’m doing just now. If I can, that would be brilliant, but I don’t think that’s going to be the case. I think it’s going to take a bit longer.'

It's been less than a month since Murray was able to progress from hitting balls from a stationary position, to moving around the court. 

'Earlier on I was hitting with singles players but I was more stationary.' Murray said. 'I was moving them rather than them moving me about. I have not played proper singles yet. I am hoping that will come more after Wimbledon.

'I did a lot of the usual drills I would do if I am going to play singles, but I didn’t play a set with Frances [Tiafoe, a recent practice partner]. I did the first four shots in the rally, but no extended rallies.'

Murray was speaking to press as he launched a biennial Future Talent Award aimed at British players aged 16-20, in conjunction with Amazon Prime Video, who also announced that they have secured the rights to broadcast WTA Tour events as well as ATP Tour events, Laver Cup and the US Open.

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Andy Murray hoping to make singles return by the end of 2019

Ahead of his return to competition in the doubles draw at Queen's Club, Andy Murray has confirmed he won't be playing singles during the grass-court season but says he is hoping to return to playing singles competitively by the end of the season

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