In recent years, ANDY MURRAY has had a bumpy ride. He underwent hip surgery and made a comeback in two years to win his first championship before he was forced out of action since late last year by another injury setback.
The former Wimbledon champion was supposed to make his debut later this month at the Miami Masters, but the cancellation of the tournament has thrown a spanner into the works due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
Nevertheless, former British world number one Tim Henman claims that there is little reason for concern about the delay in Murray’s return, which will almost certainly not take place until the end of April at the earliest due to the six-week ATP Tour break.
“In the grand scheme of things, it just gives him a bit more time to continue to get fitter, stronger and faster,” said the former world number four.
Earlier this week, I was in London with Andy watching him practice and he’s very good at hitting the ball and continuing to improve his power.
The fact that things have been postponed, I don’t think it’s too serious in the light of what he has been through.
He’s been out of action for so long, while he had his moments when he played again, of course, but it’s been two and a half years really, so if he had to wait six more weeks or so, I don’t think it’s the end of the world for him.
Since there’s so much confusion, it’s very difficult for everybody, but you have to take this careful approach, so no tournaments for six weeks. For the events involved, the teams, the fans, the sponsors and everybody else, it’s really sad, but it’s just out of everybody’s control.
After shortening his season the year before, Murray underwent hip surgery in January 2018. The procedure appeared to be successful, and in the summer, the Dunblane man made his first return.
However, for the entire first half of last year, further injury concerns meant he was not seen on the pitch. His next return came at the Queens Club in doubles, where he shared the title with Spaniard Feliciano Lopez.
With an outstanding result, Murray then returned to the singles circuit, winning the Antwerp Open with a final victory over Stan Wawrinka, another Grand Slam winner.
And Henman, who will play in June at the Brodies Tennis Invitational in Edinburgh, says he has been greatly impressed by Murray’s return to the sport following his injury problems.
“I love the fact that he still wants to be out there and is trying to get back,”I love the fact that he still wants to be out there and is trying to get back.
There are a lot of people who have had the same injury, usually when you have an injury, but that’s not the case for Andy.
A lot of people have gotten a new hip, just not at the age of 32 and not those who want to play world-class tennis again. So it’s awesome how well he’s still doing.
I think it’s incredibly impressive to see him on the practice court and to see how much fun he’s having, especially given what he’s already achieved in the game. And so, I only hope he’ll be able to perform again on the main tour.
“Injuries are just part of being a tennis player and playing as much as he does, you have to expect to get injured. Federer has managed to avoid injuries as well as anyone, but right now he’s out after knee surgery. So it happens, and you just have to deal with it and make sure you’re patient and wait until you’re 100 percent fit and healthy to come back.”
In recent months, Murray may have been on the sidelines again, but he doesn’t show any signs of giving up the fight. Henman admits that it would take a huge effort for Murray to contend for Grand Slam titles again, with Novak Djokovic, Rafa Nadal, Roger Federer and the younger generation bringing the game to the next level. But he points out that writing the Scot off is still a bad idea.
“It’s hard because time doesn’t stand still,” said Henman of the attempts by Murray to return to the top of the sport.
He’s 32 years old and he doesn’t get any younger, and that’s where it gets difficult because time isn’t on his side. But it’s great to come back and win a tour tournament – it was an incredible accomplishment to win Antwerp as he did last year, and I hope he will come back and play even better than that.
It’s going to be very, very difficult to play over seven matches over five sets as he has to do to win Grand Slam titles, but as I always w…