Murray could team up with his brother again in doubles at Wimbledon
Former World No.1 Andy Murray has told BBC Sport that although he is “pain free” after hip surgery his chances of playing singles at Wimbledon this year are “less than 50 per cent”.
Murray had hip resurfacing surgery in January – which he said meant there was a “strong possibility” he would not be able to play professionally again.
The three-time Grand Slam champion, two time Olympic gold medalist and former World No.1 said it was the only option if he wanted to return to the court competitively.
The 31-year-old Scot added: “The rehab is slow but going well, I want to continue playing, I said that in Australia. The issue is I don’t know whether it’s possible.”
Murray also advised “a return to the ATP Tour is possible, but I am under no pressure, we’ll have to wait and see”.
“I’m not allowed to do high-intensity movement for the first four months after the surgery and it is only then when I can see if I can compete at any level,” he said.
“Whether that is playing top 10, that is unlikely, but getting to the top 50, top 100, might be possible.
“I don’t feel any pressure to come back, I don’t feel pressure to play. If it allows me to play that’s brilliant.”
Prior to his first round exit following a gruelling five-setter against Roberto Bautista Agut in the Australian Open in January he made a tearful statement to a press conference the first Grand Slam of 2019 could also prove to be the last tournament of his spectacular career.
However that stance was somewhat softened during his on court post match chat with former coach Mark Petchey telling the Melbourne crowd “he hoped to see them again next year”.
Since Murray’s last bout of surgery in London in January, resurfacing his hip rather than replacing it, there has been some talk that he might initially return to play doubles, he himself has said it too, with less strain on his body, with his older brother Jamie.
They played successfully together for Team GB in Davis Cup.
American doubles player Bob Bryan had the same surgery in 2018 and was back playing again, alongside twin brother Mike, five months later, but no tennis player has returned to play in singles after having this operation.
His mum Judy gave an update on the rehab status of her youngest son, 31, recently, saying he would give his all in trying to recover.
“He is doing pretty well,” the former tennis coach and current evangelist for the sport, said told British media .
“It’s not that long (late January) since he had the operation, time will tell.
“Nobody knows how he is going to recover in the longer term. He is in a good place mentally and we just keep our fingers crossed.
“If anybody can do it he can because he will put his heart and soul into it like he does with everything.”
Murray said before his decision that he hoped to at least play Wimbledon one more time – but that timetable is now in doubt after undergoing the second procedure.
Added Judy: Andy has always worn his heart on his sleeve and that was just what he did (at his Melbourne media conference).
“When he went out and played the match in Australia I think I knew, like everybody else around him that was close to him, how much pain he has been in for such a long time and what he is putting his body through.”