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Andy Murray to make return to competition in doubles at Queen's Club

Hannah Wilks in News 3 Jun 2019
  • Andy Murray to play doubles at Queen's Club in June
  • Murray will be playing for the first time since hip resurfacing
  • Wimbledon doubles appearance not ruled out 
Andy Murray will play doubles at the Queen's Club tournament in 2019 (PA Sports)

Andy Murray will make his return to competition in doubles at Queen's Club in June.

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Former world no. 1 Andy Murray will be back on court for the first time after his radical hip surgery when he plays doubles at the Fever-Tree Championships at Queen's Club in June.

The 500-level tournament begins on Monday 17 June.

According to multiple reports, Murray will team up with Feliciano Lopez of Spain to compete in the doubles draw at Queen's.

'I am really excited to return to the match court for the first time since my surgery. Queen’s has always been a special place for me and it’s the perfect place to return,' Murray said.

'I’m not yet ready to return to the singles court, but I’ve been pain-free for a few months now. I’ve made good progress in training and on the practice court, and this is the next step for me as I try to return to the tour.'

Murray in action at Queen's Club in 2017 (PA Sports)
Murray has not competed since the Australian Open, when he announced before the tournament in an emotional press conference that he wasn't going to be able to continue playing due to the level of pain he was experiencing from his long-time hip injury, which kept him off the court for almost a year in 2017-18. The British player was knocked out in the first round by Roberto Bautista Agut and many felt that was the last we had seen from him on the tennis court.

However. Murray's prospects have been looking brighter since he underwent the hip resurfacing operation known as the Birmingham Method at the end of January. The best-known beneficiary of the surgery in tennis is doubles specialist Mike Bryan, whose own career has been revitalized by undergoing the surgery in 2018 and is now back competing with his twin brother Bob.

Murray said at the London Marathon, where he was the official starter, that he was 'pain-free, happy and enjoying [his] life' and has posted a couple of videos on social media of himself playing with Nick Kyrgios on the green clay at Wimbledon, and serving on the grass.

The three-time Grand Slam champion has ruled out playing singles this summer, but has seemed cautiously optimistic about playing doubles. 

'I know from seeing what Bob Bryan has done that for doubles it will be absolutely fine,' Murray said to The Times a few weeks ago. 'I will need to see from there how it would work singles-wise.

'If I continue to feel good, then I will obviously give it a shot in singles and see what happens. Whereas in doubles I am pretty certain I will be able to play, just based on having an example to look at. I can look at Bob Bryan and say, this is what he has done, he is playing top three or four in the world-level doubles. He’s also nine years older than me, so why would I not be able to do the same and hopefully a bit more?'

Feliciano Lopez (PA Sports)
It's also reported in The Times that if the Queen's Club foray goes well, Murray might play Wimbledon, possibly even with Feliciano Lopez again.

There was speculation that Murray might choose to play with brother Jamie at Wimbledon, but the latter has denied that that's a possibility, saying: 'For me, these are the peak years in my career and if I go to play Wimbledon with someone who hasn't hit a tennis ball in eight months, I'm kind of giving up one of those years, so that's a big decision for me to take.

'Circumstances might dictate otherwise, but I want to give myself the best chance of winning the tournament. Normally I would have a good chance with Andy, but probably right now he's not in his peak moment.'

Murray has a long and fruitful association with the Queen's Club tournament currently known as the Fever-Tree Championships, which he has won a record five times. Lopez is also a champion there, having claimed the title in 2017. The 37-year-old Spaniard, currently ranked world no. 108 in singles, has won four doubles titles including the French Open in 2016. Murray has only won two doubles titles in his career, both with brother Jamie in 2010-11; his last doubles appearance was at Indian Wells in 2017 when he teamed up with Dan Evans.

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Andy Murray to make return to competition in doubles at Queen's Club

Former world no. 1 Andy Murray will play doubles with Felicano Lopez at the Fever-Tree Championships at Queen's Club two weeks before Wimbledon

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