Former World #1 Andy Murray has had hip surgery in Melbourne today in an attempt to be fit and ready for the British grass court season.
The Brit has not played a competitive match since the 12th of July at Wimbledon and many were doubting if we would ever see him at the top again. However, Murray is very confident that he can get back to where he belongs.
“I’m not finished playing tennis yet. I’m going to be competing at the highest level again,” Murray said. “I’m very optimistic about the future – the surgeon is very happy about how it went.”
It is really uplifting to hear how positive the three-time Grand Slam champion is feeling because it has been difficult to watch a legend of the game suffer like this. Murray has slipped down to #19 in the latest ATP rankings and this will drop even more with the upcoming events he will miss. If he does not return by Wimbledon, missing a full 12 months will mean that he will have no ranking at all upon return.
When Will We See Him Again?
Andy Murray will next be hitting balls on court again in seven to eight weeks and he is hoping to return to action in approximatley fourteen weeks time, but this is a rough guideline.
“My plan is to be back playing around the grass-court season – potentially before then – but I’m certainly not going to rush anything” the Brit explained.
You would expect him to return on the grass courts of the Queen’s Club – an event he has won a record five times – because the surface is much more forgiving than on the clay. Rallies are much shorter on grass, which means less running, and Murray would certainly love to play short points after not competing for almost a year.
Clay was in fact the surface that he sustained this horrible injury on during his semifinal match at the French Open against Stan Wawrinka.
What Does the Future Hold?
Andy Murray is optimistic that he can regain full fitness once again and compete for the biggest prizes in the sport. “If I can get myself to 95% of my best, I believe that’s enough to compete at the highest level. No question.”
The two-time Wimbledon champion will also experience a major tumble down the rankings that will see him placed at roughly #150 in the world if he does return at the Queen’s Club. This will mean he could play legends like Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic in the first round of tournaments. Murray will also find it extremely difficult (and nearly impossible) to qualify for the ATP Finals this year because of his delayed start to the season. Despite this, the Scot is not concerned about rankings anymore.
“I’ll be playing a reduced schedule, and then focusing more on trying to win major events and big tournaments rather than trying to achieve certain ranking goals”
Perhaps Murray could take a leaf out of Roger Federer’s book. The Swiss plays an extremely limited schedule which allows him to peak for the major events.
Second Surgery in Four Weeks
We have now learnt that the British #1 underwent a minor groin surgery on the 18th of December which is why his trip to Australia was delayed until after Christmas. Andy Murray is also very motivated to play long enough for his daughter to understand his profession.
“That would be cool if she can come along and watch me hit some balls or just to see what I do,” Murray said, “I like watching and seeing a lot of other kids when they are on tour with parents.”
Tennis Will Miss Andy Murray
The sport we all love will not be the same now because a great champion is on the sidelines. This is the first major injury that the Scot has suffered and we all hope it is the last. Murray has stated he is far from finished which is extremely exciting news. We will all be looking forward to the return of Andy Murray, a true legend of tennis.