Andy Murray unsure if he’ll ever get back to his best – but he doesn’t care
Andy Murray has missed tennis a lot throughout his six-month absence with a hip harm that he admits he can be joyful simply to be competing once more, even if he has to accept nothing higher than “top 30” tennis.
“I want to get back to playing my best tennis and winning the biggest tournaments, but if I don’t I’m OK with that,” the previous world No 1 stated right here on Sunday forward of his return to competitors at this week’s Brisbane International. “I simply need to hold taking part in.
“My expectations aren’t massively excessive simply now as a result of I’ve not performed for such a very long time. I simply need to take pleasure in taking part in once more. I’ve actually missed it the final six months or so.
“You kind of re-evaluate what is important to you. I just want to be able to play tennis. I don’t mind if it’s 30 in the world level. I would love it to be No 1 in the world level, but I just want to play. When that’s taken away from you, you realise how important it is. I’m just hoping that I can get back to a level where I’m able to be really competitive.”
Murray has not performed competitively since limping out of Wimbledon in July. After failing to recuperate his health in time for the US Open, the Scot made Brisbane the lengthy-time period goal for his return. However, he didn’t verify his participation right here till he had performed a apply set in opposition to Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut in Abu Dhabi on Friday evening.
Having come by way of that check, Murray continued his journey Down Under and arrived right here on Saturday. He is travelling with his coach, Jamie Delgado, his coach, Matt Little, and physiotherapist, Mark Bender.
Less than 24 hours after his arrival Murray was out on the apply court docket in preparation for his opening match on both Wednesday or Thursday in opposition to Ryan Harrison or Leonardo Mayer. He hit with the Argentinian Federico Delbonis, although his apply session was lower brief by rain on a usually scorching and steamy Brisbane day.
“I felt OK today, actually, a bit better than I did in the match in Abu Dhabi,” Murray stated afterwards. “I am hoping that is going to hold getting higher with every day I practise with higher gamers.
“That’s what I need just now. I’ve not really done that much over the last few months, so hopefully I’ll get in a few more days’ good practice before I play.”
He added: “I certainly feel fresh mentally. I don’t feel like there are many miles in my legs, which was certainly the case at the beginning of 2017, when most days I was quite sore all over. Right now the hip is the only thing that is any concern. The rest of my body feels really good.”
Murray stated he was assured he can be match sufficient to play this week. “Unless something happens the next couple of days that goes wrong, I don’t see myself not playing because of my hip right now,” he stated.
“What I feel is that I need to play matches to see exactly where it’s at. Practising and doing everything in the gym is great but playing matches is what I need.”
Asked to assess his present taking part in degree, Murray stated: “On a day-to-day foundation, it is tough to inform precisely what my degree is once you’ve had such excessive expectations for fairly a very long time.
“When I have a few bad days, I might feel like I’m playing really poorly, but I might still be good enough to beat top 30, top 40 in the world players, which is still a really, really high level.”
Having sought medical recommendation on his hip drawback, the character of which he has saved a intently guarded secret, Murray determined not to have surgical procedure but to go for relaxation and rehabilitation.
“I feel like I’m getting better, but you need to play matches and you need to play against the best players to gain confidence in how your body and your hip is feeling and how you respond to matches,” he stated.
“My hip feels way better than it did at Wimbledon and way better than it did at the US Open, for example – significantly better than that, which is good.”
He added: “Playing the matches and getting used to that depth once more and the way you recuperate from a match is what’s necessary. I am hoping I am going to be OK, but you by no means know for positive till you undergo it.
“I have worked really hard. I’ve spent lots of time rehabbing. I’ve done everything that’s been asked of me from my physio and my physical trainer to give myself the best chance possible for the new year.”
Murray stated his lengthy absence from competitors had been powerful mentally. “I remember when I had my back issues, I was really motivated to get back, but the back surgery was in September so I only missed two and a half months of competition,” he stated.
“But from Wimbledon right the way through to the end of the year, that was the longest period I’ve ever had off as a professional.”
Murray expects to make modifications to his schedule this 12 months. “I’ll certainly play less than I have in the past to give my body time to rest and recover,” he stated. “I wouldn’t say I necessarily played loads of tournaments or overplayed [in the past], but with the way the schedule is there are not lots of breaks in the year.”
He added: “I think giving yourself breaks, especially as you start to get older, is very important and something that I’ll certainly be looking to do for however long I keep playing.”
Meanwhile Heather Watson fell within the remaining spherical of qualifying right here. After successful her first two matches in straight units, the British No 2 was crushed 6-four, 6-1 by Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi.