LONDON (Reuters) – Former world number one Andy Murray is excited to see what he can achieve over the next couple of years after returning to the tour following hip resurfacing surgery but he will not be setting any lofty targets.
FILE PHOTO: Tennis – China Open – Men’s Singles – Quarterfinals – National Tennis Center, Beijing, China – October 4, 2019. Britain’s Andy Murray in action against Dominic Thiem of Austria. REUTERS/Thomas Peter/File Photo
The 32-year-old Briton looked on the verge of ending his career at the start of the year but after undergoing surgery in January, he has returned in impressive fashion.
After initially playing doubles at Queen’s Club, where he won the title alongside Feliciano Lopez, and Wimbledon, Murray has exceeded expectations on the singles court and won the title in Antwerp last month, beating Stan Wawrinka in the final.
Murray, ranked 125th, will end his season at the Davis Cup Finals next week before turning his thoughts to next year’s Australian Open having thought this year’s appearance in Melbourne was probably his last.
“I’m very lucky I get that chance again in January if I stay fit in the next couple of months and it’ll be fun to see what I can do,” Murray told British media on Tuesday.
“It has been an up and down few years but I feel like I’m coming through the other side of it and excited to see what I can do over the next couple of years.
“It’s difficult to say exactly where I am. I’m not where I was when I was 25 but I don’t expect to be and don’t need to be (in order) to be competitive at the highest level. That’s why I’m excited.”
Murray’s European Open title in Antwerp, his first since March 2017, has given him the belief that he could beat the likes of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic — a notion that would have appeared impossible a few months ago.
“I know if I played against the top players tomorrow there would be a very small chance of me winning that match,” he said. “But I do feel I could win.
“That’s one of the performance goals I want — when I go out on court against all of the players I want to feel like I have a chance of winning.”
Murray, whose wife Kim gave birth to their third child a few weeks ago, says the main priority is to continue playing pain free and enjoying the battle.
“I’m not going to set a target of top 10 or trying to make the semis of a Grand Slam because I’ve done all of that before and I don’t need that,” he said.
“So if I’m 30 in the world or 70 in the world but I’m still enjoying it and still enjoying the preparations and training and I feel competitive then that would be success for me.”
Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Pritha Sarkar