Andy Murray
Andy Murray Image Credit: Reuters

London: Andy Murray is confident he can return to competitive tennis and has hinted at a doubles spot at Wimbledon, inspired by American doubles great Bob Bryan’s return from hip surgery.

The two-time Wimbledon champion, 32, in January announced plans to retire after this year’s Wimbledon due to injury, expressing doubt as to whether he would even make it to the All England Club.

The Scot has all but ruled out an appearance in the singles draw, nearly four months after surgery on a career-threatening hip problem, but he could return by playing in the men’s doubles.

The former world number one told Tuesday Times there was “very little chance” he would play singles during the grass-court season.

“Potentially doubles, but I’m not trying to get ready for singles just now,” he said.

“The thing I said before was that, if I wasn’t feeling good, there was more chance that I would play and then stop after Wimbledon.

“Whereas if it’s feeling good, it makes a bit more sense to give it time to make sure that it’s as good as possible before I try to play singles on it.”

Murray, whose ranking has plummeted to 218 due to his time away from the court, said he was pain-free as he spoke about the example set by Bryan.

“I know from seeing what Bob Bryan has done (he had similar surgery last year) that for doubles it will be absolutely fine. I will need to see from there how it would work singles-wise.

“It has been really good so far. I’m playing lots of golf. I don’t have any pain walking round the course and swinging clubs. When I’m on the court hitting, it has been perfect.

“If I continue to feel good, then I will obviously give it a shot in singles and see what happens. Whereas in doubles I am pretty certain I will be able to play, just based on having an example to look at.

“I can look at Bob Bryan and say, this is what he has done, he is playing top three or four in the world-level doubles. He’s also nine years older than me, so why would I not be able to do the same and hopefully a bit more?”

Murray has an official deadline of June 18 to apply for a wild card for this year’s Wimbledon, where he was the champion in 2013 and 2016, and could also use his protected ranking to enter.

— AFP