Andy Murray says winning more Grand Slam titles is 'still possible' after hip injury

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2018 Fever-Tree Championships on the BBC
Venue: Queen’s Club, London Dates: 18-24 June
Coverage: Watch live on BBC Two, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button, Connected TVs, the BBC Sport website and app.

Former world number one Andy Murray believes winning more Grand Slam titles is “still possible” as he prepares to come back after almost a year out with a hip injury.

However, the 31-year-old says he has “zero expectations” before returning at Queen’s Club this week.

The Briton has not played competitively since Wimbledon last year.

“I always thought I’d come back and play again,” Murray, a three-time Grand Slam champion, said.

“I would love to get back to the top of the game but if not, that’s OK. It’s not the end of the world if I don’t.”

The Scot, who won the US Open in 2012 and Wimbledon in 2013 and 2016, had surgery on his right hip in January.

He will play Australian world number 24 Nick Kyrgios at the Fever-Tree Championships on Tuesday.

“I’m not expecting to win Grand Slams straight away,” Murray said.

“You don’t start playing after 11 months out and winning them – that isn’t how this works.

“It may have been different if I had four months of hard training and preparation. There has been a lot of stop-starting for me.

“The expectations are very low right now and I will reassess my goals when I’m back out there competing.”

Wimbledon begins on 2 July.

Cameron Norrie and Andy Murray

‘Coming back is not a gamble’

Murray, who has won five Queen’s titles, says his hip is not pain free but does not believe he is taking a risk by coming back now.

Following his surgery in Australia, Murray said he would only return to competition when completely fit and ready, although has long targeted a return for the grass-court season.

He had hoped to play in this week’s Libema Open in the Netherlands, but pulled out after saying he was “not quite ready and wanted to be 100%”.

His last appearance came at Wimbledon in July, when he lost in five sets to American Sam Querrey in their quarter-final.

“I’m not going to re-injure my hip or hurt myself by playing,” Murray, who has dropped to 157th in the world, told BBC Sport.

“It is just you never know exactly when you are ready especially after the amount of time.

“After almost a year out of the game there are going to be doubts and the best way to get over that is by getting out there, competing and to see where we’re at.

“If it goes well that’s fantastic and if it doesn’t then you re-evalute.”

Murray said he first felt pain in his right hip during the French Open semi-final against Wawrinka in June 2017, though he has had issues with it throughout his career.

He withdrew from the US Open two days before the start of the tournament in August, and said he realised he was not ready to compete in Brisbane prior to January’s Australian Open when he tested his hip against other top-50 players.

He had an operation at the St Vincent Hospital in Melbourne on 8 January.

‘My hip wasn’t angry’

Murray practised on his own at the west London club before playing two sets against British number three Cameron Norrie on Friday.

“I’ve been practising the last couple of weeks and obviously building up each day,” he added.

“I started playing sets about a week ago. So, I played probably seven or eight sets, and I wanted to feel how I felt the following day after playing a couple of sets with Cam.

“I got tested by my physios on Saturday morning to make sure I hadn’t stiffened up and lost any range of motion in my hip which can happen when you’re tired and the hip’s a bit angry.

“That wasn’t the case. That was all positive and I pulled up pretty well from that, so then I decided to go for it.”

Elsewhere in the draw, British number one Kyle Edmund will play American Ryan Harrison, while Dan Evans, who be playing his first ATP Tour event since a year’s ban for taking cocaine, faces France’s Adrian Mannarino.

Spanish reigning champion Feliciano Lopez takes on Belgium’s David Goffin, while Croatian top seed Marin Cilic plays another Spaniard, Fernando Verdasco.

Bulgarian second seed Grigor Dimitrov will face Bosnia’s Damir Dzumhur while Serbia’s 12-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic – who finished as runner-up at Queen’s in 2008 – will play a qualifier.

World number four Juan Martin del Potro – who would have been top seed – pulled out of the tournament on Friday, saying he had been “advised to rest” by medics.

The 29-year-old Argentine, who has suffered a catalogue of injury problems in recent years, reached the French Open semi-finals last week.

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BBC Sport – Tennis

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