(Reuters) – Former world number one Andy Murray has all but ruled out playing singles at Wimbledon this year and said he will focus on doubles when he makes his comeback from hip-resurfacing surgery.
The Scot has not played since his first-round exit from the Australian Open in January, but said last month he was finally pain-free after the operation and planning to return to the ATP tour.
Murray, who will get a wildcard for the Queen’s Club Championships in June if fit, told the Times that playing singles would be a step too far given the state of his rehabilitation.
“It’s not enough time,” the 32-year-old said. “I’d say there’s very little chance I’d play singles during the grass (season). Potentially doubles, but I’m not trying to get ready for singles. I’ve only just started moving now.”
Murray has started training since the procedure and hopes to emulate doubles veteran Bob Bryan, who successfully returned to competitive tennis after a similar operation.
Bryan, who cut his season short in 2018 to have surgery and returned to the tour this year, was the one who advised Murray that surgery could improve his quality of life when the Scot was thinking of quitting tennis.
“I don’t have pain,” Murray added. “I just need to see how good the hip can get really. I know from seeing what Bob Bryan has done that for doubles it will be absolutely fine. I’ll need to see from there how it would work singles-wise.
“If I continue to feel good then I will obviously give it a shot in singles and see what happens. In doubles I’m pretty certain I’ll be able to play, just based on having an example to look at.”
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon Jennings)