Former World No.1 prepares for comeback after long injury.
It’s been a long time between drinks (events) but Andy Murray is convinced he still has plenty to offer ahead of the first Grand Slam tournament of the new year.
Murray will kick-start his career in Brisbane this week after an injury-plagued 2018.
The three-time Grand Slam winner played just six tournaments in 2018 and arrived in Australia this week to acclimatise and prepare as he continues his recovery from painful hip surgery.
“There are still things that I want to achieve,” he said. “Whether I am capable of that I don’t really know.”
He said he still had some pain, but “I’m in a better place than I was a few months ago”.
The former world No.1 has spent three weeks training in the heat of Miami to prepare for the forecast gruelling conditions in Brisbane and then in Melbourne.
Murray hasn’t played since pulling out of the China Open in September, with his ranking dropping to 256.
The Scot, 31, won the Brisbane title in 2012 and 2013 and said he had been training hard for this year’s event.
Murray, who will be unseeded in Melbourne, said he needed to push himself to ensure he had a chance of being competitive at the Australian Open, which begins on January 14.
After a training hit-out at the Queensland Tennis Centre, Murray said he was still feeling some pain in his hip “but I need to play and see how it feels when I am playing three, four, five matches in a row.
“Last year where I came here it was tough. I am in a better place than I was a few months ago.”
Murray, who had a hit-out with Women’s US Open champion Naomi Osaka on Friday, plays Australian wildcard James Duckworth in Brisbane’s opening round, a player he faced in the same opening round at the US Open.
If his rehab goes well and he improves through Melbourne, Murray has indicated he wants to play at two ATP events in February, in Montpellier and Marseilles.
Can the former world No.1 and Olympic champion regain top ten status?
He will be 32 in May, but as Roger Federer has shown, age is no longer a barrier in world tennis.
Injuries are; but alongside the physical pain, Murray will know he has to overcome the mental tortures that accompany any setbacks.