Danny Law: Andy Murray is back where he belongs

© GettyAndy Murray
Andy Murray

In January, a tearful Andy Murray admitted fearing he would never play competitive tennis again due to a long-term hip injury.

The man, who is for many Scotland’s greatest ever sportsman, made the concession after choosing to undergo a hip resurfacing operation after playing in physical discomfort for much of the previous two years.

It was difficult not to be moved as an emotional Murray accepted his main hope from the operation was simply to emerge pain-free rather than with the genuine hope of being able to compete once again at the top end of world tennis.

He looked set for retirement but, thankfully, Murray’s recovery has been ahead of schedule and he will be on court at Wimbledon this year.

The 32-year-old will return to SW19 in buoyant mood after triumphing in the men’s doubles at Queen’s alongside Spaniard Feliciano Lopez.

The three-time Grand Slam champion will team up with Frenchman Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the doubles and, fingers crossed, his new metal hip will stand up to the rigours of competitive tennis.

Murray has made a shrewd choice as Herbert has won all four Grand Slam doubles titles and they look a formidable pairing, although a potential third-round match against brother Jamie and Neal Skupski will prove a difficult obstacle in more ways then one.

Their mother Judy Murray admits she intends not to watch her sons going head-to-head should they reach that stage of the competition and will instead wait for a text message result.

Andy Murray also wants to play mixed doubles and the thought of seeing him teaming up with Serena Williams is a tantalising prospect.

It will be a pleasant headache for the tournament organisers with more doubles matches set to be scheduled on the main courts than ever before to deal with the inevitable interest.

But as the excitement at seeing Murray back in action builds, the feeling remains that Scotland – and the rest of the UK – has not done enough to grow the sport during the Murray era.

It could be a long time before Scottish and British tennis can lay claim to one of the best players in the world and it feels like a chance missed, especially now the Scot is embarking on the fifth and final set of his illustrious career.

There is some optimism this feeling can be reversed with £15  million of funding being used by the LTA and sportscotland to deliver an additional 10 indoor tennis facilities across the country, while one of two British tennis academies will be based in Stirling.

Hopefully, in time, that investment will help produce the next generation of tennis talents, although it will be difficult for anyone to reach the dizzy heights that Murray has reached in the sport.

But, whether it is in doubles or eventually the singles, let’s hope Murray remains fit and healthy enough for the foreseeable future to be able to deliver more of his swashbuckling displays.

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