Andy Murray: Competing is ‘the next step’ after confirming Queen’s Club return

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Andy Murray will be back on court at the Queen’s Club later this month (Steven Paston/PA)

Andy Murray described his return to competitive action as “the next step” after it was confirmed he will play doubles in the Fever-Tree Championships at Queen’s Club.

The three-time grand slam champion underwent career-saving hip surgery in January after playing what he admitted could have been his final professional match at the Australian Open.

The 32-year-old has been back in training for a number of weeks, with his progress sufficient enough for him to commit to a comeback.

Murray said: “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. It’s where I won my first ATP match, my first title in Britain and on grass, and it’s been my most successful tournament overall.

“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.”

The Scot underwent a resurfacing operation on his right hip after an earlier arthroscopy failed to alleviate the pain that had dogged him since the summer of 2017.

He posted a video on Instagram on Saturday of him hitting a serve on a grass court, boosting hopes that he would soon be seen back on the circuit.

Murray will partner Spanish veteran Feliciano Lopez at Queen’s Club, with the tournament beginning on June 17.

Feliciano Lopez
Feliciano Lopez will partner Murray later this month (Steven Paston/PA)

Murray has been in frequent contact with American doubles specialist Bob Bryan, who underwent the same operation last summer and has made a successful return this season.

No one has yet attempted to make a comeback in singles after this surgery, and it is believed Murray is very unlikely to play singles at Wimbledon this summer.

But, if all goes well at Queen’s – and he could potentially play at Eastbourne as well – then Murray is extremely likely to enter the doubles at Wimbledon, perhaps building up to a singles comeback later in the season.

Murray’s former coach Alex Corretja, who is working for Eurosport at the French Open, said: “It’s awesome news, especially since we never knew if he would be able to make it back on a tennis court.

“This is the first step and means he clearly wants to test himself. Hopefully he will make it back for singles, too, but I don’t expect that to happen very soon.

“In my opinion, he needs to take it slowly, but he is the one that knows his body of course.

“He is back this quickly because he is very strong physically. He’s been working so hard for the last 15 years and that’s why now he’s able to come back sooner than expected.

“The dedication he has for his conditioning is amazing – he spends hours and hours looking after his body. It’s unbelievable news and I’m very happy for him, for his fans and for the game of tennis.”