Tennis fans from all over the world will delight at the sight of Britain’s Andy Murray stepping out into a competitive arena for this first time since undergoing hip resurfacing surgery back in January.Embed from Getty Images
The former world No. 1 will line up alongside Feliciano Lopez in the doubles event at the Fever-Tree Championships at Queen’s. How he performs on the grass in London will play a big part in helping him decide whether to return to singles action this summer.
Back to the scene of first ATP win
The three-time Grand Slam winner won his first-ever ATP title at Queen’s Club and it has proved to be his most successful tournament with five wins, the last coming against Milos Raonic in 2016. The Briton announced he had been pain-free since recovering from the operation and has made good progress on the practice courts.
The doubles event will give him a chance to return to competitive action without putting himself through the strain of the singles event which features a strong line-up this year. Defending champion Marin Cilic will be joined by Juan Martin del Potro, Kevin Anderson, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Stan Wawrinka, Milos Raonic and Denis Shapovalov at the men’s ATP World Tour 500 series event.
Wimbledon singles return unlikely
Murray is expected to play more doubles tennis at Eastbourne and Wimbledon but is unlikely to return to singles action until after the US Open. Despite that, some bookies still have him the listed in the Wimbledon odds for the singles events with prices of around 33/1 available.
Age no barrier
With no exact time scale set for his singles return, it will be a case of watching and waiting for fans of the 32-year-old. However, if he can remain pain-free, there is no reason he cannot compete at the top level again. Rafa Nadal has just won his 18th Grand Slam aged 33 after coming back from injury and Roger Federer was 36 when he won the 2018 Australian Open, his 20th major title. Meanwhile, 2019 Australian Open champion, Novak Djokovic, is just a week younger than Murray and still ranked No. 1 in the world.
Six months out
Murray last played a singles match at the Australian Open in January and many believed that would be his last ever match as a top-level pro – especially in light of the emotional speech he gave when he bowed out of the tournament. However, having decided to undergo surgery, the popular Scot could have added years to his career.