Murray Reaches First Semi-Final Since 2017 After Copil Win

British Andy Murray returns a shot during the Men’s singles first-round match against Kimmer Coppejans of Belgium, at the European Open ATP Antwerp tennis tournament, on October 15, 2019 in Antwerp.
ERIC LALMAND / BELGA / AFP

 

Former world number one Andy Murray reached his first semi-final since the 2017 French Open with a battling three-set win over Romania’s Marius Copil in Antwerp on Friday.

The 32-year-old British star, steadily rebuilding his career after major hip surgery earlier this year, defeated qualifier Copil 6-3, 6-7 (7/9), 6-4.

“I feel OK, it’s more how you pull up the following day,” said Murray, who is two wins away from a first title since Dubai in March 2017.

“The good thing about the indoor matches is that the points are fairly short so it doesn’t take as much out of you as on some of the slower courts outside.”

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Murray, now ranked a lowly 243 in the world, had the chance to wrap up the quarter-final when he had a match point in the second set tiebreak.

He eventually sealed victory after more than two and a half hours on court with an ace for his third win in three meetings against the 92nd-ranked Copil.

Murray goes on to face France’s world number 70 Ugo Humbert who put out Argentine fifth seed Guido Pella 5-7, 6-4, 6-4.

Italian teenager Jannik Sinner became the youngest ATP semi-finalist in five years when he defeated Frances Tiafoe of the United States 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

Sinner, 18, is the youngest to make the last four on tour since 17-year-old Borna Coric at Basel in 2014.

“I think I played good today once more. It was not easy in the end. I was shaking a little bit,” said Sinner, the world number 119.

The teenager fired 10 aces past the 53rd-ranked Tiafoe, saving four of five break points as he backed up his defeat of French top seed Gael Monfils in the second round.

Sinner, who was ranked 778 this time last year, can make the world top 100 next week.

However, he faces a daunting semi-final against three-time major winner Stan Wawrinka after the former world number three got past fellow 34-year-old Gilles Simon of France 6-3, 6-7 (6/8), 6-2 in his quarter-final.

Sinner, who lost to Wawrinka at the US Open this year, will become the youngest ATP finalist since Kei Nishikori at Delray Beach in 2008 if he downs the experienced Swiss on Saturday.

AFP

Australian Open: Andy Murray To Make Grand Slam Return

Andy Murray of Britain leaves the court after losing against Fabio Fognini of Italy in their men’s singles match at the Shanghai Masters tennis tournament in Shanghai on October 8, 2019.
HECTOR RETAMAL / AFP

 

Andy Murray will make his Grand Slam return at the Australian Open in January, a year after career-saving hip surgery, tournament organisers announced Tuesday.

The British three-time major winner has been slowly working his way back to fitness and is now ranked 289th, up from 503rd just a week ago.

The 32-year-old won his opening match at the Shanghai Masters on Monday, beating Argentine qualifier Juan Ignacio Londero in three sets, following a quarter-final appearance in Beijing last week.

With his confidence seemingly growing by the day, Australian Open organisers said the former world number one had committed to extending his comeback into the majors in January.

“Confirmed: Andy Murray will return to compete at the #AusOpen in 2020,” they tweeted.

The official Australian Open website said Murray “will return to the main draw with a protected ranking of number two and restored physical powers”.

World number one Novak Djokovic said it was “pleasantly surprising” to see Murray back following hip-resurfacing surgery.

“Regardless of his ranking currently, he is a great champion and one of the greats of this game,” the reigning Australian Open champion said at the Shanghai Masters.

“If he’s healthy, you can definitely expect him to play at the highest level very soon.

“I wish him that, it’s great to see him back.”

Murray has made the final five times at Melbourne Park, losing four times to Djokovic and once to Roger Federer.

However, arguably his most heartbreaking moment at the season-opening Grand Slam came not on the court but at an emotional press conference before this year’s tournament.

Murray broke down in tears describing how the pain in his right hip, which had been operated on six months earlier, had become unbearable.

“I can play with limitations. But having the limitations and the pain is not allowing me to enjoy competing or training,” he said, later revealing that even walking his dog had become an ordeal.

Tributes flowed for the well-liked Scot, with Billie Jean King calling him “a champion on and off court”.

Players also farewelled him in an emotional video screened on centre court after he lost an epic five-setter to Roberto Bautista Agut, with most believing his Grand Slam career was over.

“It was a very emotional Australian Open for him and for many tennis fans,” Djokovic added on Tuesday.

“But it seemed like it was too early to goodbye and it’s great to have him back.”

‘Much improved’ 

Murray said after his win over Londero in Shanghai that his movement on the court felt like it was steadily improving.

“In the beginning I didn’t necessarily feel good, but last couple of weeks have been I think much improved,” he said.

In 2013, Murray became the first British man to win Wimbledon for 77 years, ending the nation’s obsession with finding a champion to follow in the footsteps of Fred Perry.

He repeated the feat in 2016, adding to a glittering career that also includes the 2012 US Open, two Olympic gold medals and 45 ATP crowns.

Australian Open organisers hope there will be another blast from the past if Belgium’s Kim Clijsters can meet her goal of taking to the court again in January after an absence of more than seven years.

A crowd favourite in Melbourne, the 36-year-old retired to have a family but made a surprise announcement last month that she was making a comeback in 2020.

Clijsters has won four Grand Slams, including the 2011 Australian Open.

AFP

Djokovic Tops ATP Rankings As Murray Climbs Over 200 Places

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic reacts following a point against Belgium’s David Goffin in their men’s singles semi-final match at the Japan Open tennis tournament in Tokyo on October 5, 2019./AFP

 

Former world number one Andy Murray climbed over 200 places in the new ATP rankings released on Monday while Novak Djokovic extended his lead over Rafael Nadal at the top. 

Scotsman Murray, who is on the comeback trail after career-saving hip surgery, reached the quarter-finals of the China Open where he lost to eventual winner Dominic Thiem.

The run lifted the 32-year-old 214 places from 503 in the world to 289.

He can climb into the top 250 if he beats Juan Ignacio Londero later on Monday in the first round of the Shanghai Masters where Murray is a three-time champion.

Djokovic’s win in Tokyo at the weekend means the Serb is at number one for the 271st week of his career, one more than Ivan Lendl and trailing only Roger Federer (310) and Pete Sampras (286).

Djokovic heads to Shanghai as defending champion while Nadal, his closest pursuer 1,140 points behind, has had to pull out with a wrist injury he picked up during last month’s Laver Cup.

Thiem’s victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas in Beijing sees the Austrian close to just 50 points behind the Russian Daniil Medvedev.

ATP Rankings as of October 7:

1. Novak Djokovic (SRB) 10,365 pts

2. Rafael Nadal (ESP) 9,225

3. Roger Federer (SUI) 7,130

4. Daniil Medvedev (RUS) 4,965

5. Dominic Thiem (AUT) 4,915

6. Alexander Zverev (GER) 4,185

7. Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) 3,630

8. Kei Nishikori (JPN) 3,040

9. Karen Khachanov (RUS) 2,945

10. Roberto Bautista (ESP) 2,575

11. Gael Monfils (FRA) 2,375

12. Fabio Fognini (ITA) 2,280

13. Matteo Berrettini (ITA) 2,221

14. David Goffin (BEL) 2,190 (+1)

15. Borna Coric (CRO) 2,130 (-1)

16. Diego Schwartzman (ARG) 1,995

17. John Isner (USA) 1,895 (+2)

18. Kevin Anderson (RSA) 1,780

19. Felix Auger-Aliassime (CAN) 1,719 (+1)

20. Stan Wawrinka (SUI) 1,670 (+1)

AFP

Murray Worries Over China Open Crowds, Atmosphere

Andy Murray of Britain reacts during his men’s singles second-round match against Cameron Norrie of Britain at the China Open tennis tournament in Beijing on October 2, 2019. LEO RAMIREZ / AFP

 

 

Andy Murray expressed disappointment about crowds at the China Open tennis, where some of the best players in the world have competed in front of swathes of empty seats.

Poor attendances have been in the sporting headlines because of sparse turn-out at the World Athletics Championships in Doha.

And at the ongoing China Open in Beijing, the biggest matches have played out to rows of unoccupied seats at the cavernous Diamond Court, the main arena.

“I think as the tournament goes on you tend to get better crowds towards the end of the week,” Murray said after his last-16 match on Wednesday.

“Last couple of days in terms of atmosphere it’s been not as good as you would like,” added the former number one, 32, who is on the comeback trail from career-saving hip surgery.

The three-time Grand Slam champion praised the tournament as a whole, but said: “I don’t know if I’m complaining about it, but I’d like it to be bigger crowds and nicer atmospheres.

“That normally comes as the week goes on,” added the Briton.

The China Open did not immediately comment on Murray’s remarks when approached by AFP.

At last week’s inaugural Zhuhai Championships in southern China, a senior ATP official said that the country would not be given more and bigger tournaments until it produced “top” players.

AFP

China Open: Murray Reaches Quarter-Final

Andy Murray of Britain hits a return during his men’s singles second round match against Cameron Norrie of Britain at the China Open tennis tournament in Beijing on October 2, 2019. LEO RAMIREZ / AFP

 

Exhausted Andy Murray battled into a singles quarter-final for the first time in a year on Wednesday — and then immediately grabbed a snooze.

The former world number one outlasted fellow Briton Cameron Norrie 7-6 (8/6), 6-7 (4/7), 6-1 over nearly three gruelling hours in hot and hazy Beijing.

The 32-year-old, now ranked a lowly 503, will play top seed Dominic Thiem or Chinese wildcard Zhang Zhizhen in the last eight of the China Open on Friday.

On the mend after a career-saving hip operation in January, Murray looked all in afterwards, and walked gingerly in and out of the post-match press conference.

Blowing out his cheeks several times, the three-time Grand Slam champion said he had slept in the 90 minutes between his victory and talking to reporters.

“I’m tired, I just had a sleep before coming. I mean, I’m really tired,” he said.

To save his creaking body from more punishment, Murray said that he switched tactics in the deciding third set.

“I decided if I want to win I have to go and take risks and come to the net, try and finish the points quicker, which I did,” he said.

Murray defeated US Open semi-finalist Matteo Berrettini on Tuesday for his biggest scalp since his return to singles tennis in mid-August.

The hard-fought triumph over 69th-ranked Norrie means he reaches the last eight in singles on the ATP Tour for the first time since Shenzhen in September last year.

Murray showed several flashes of irritation as the first set against Norrie went to the tie break, chuntering away in the direction of his coaching team courtside.

But he regained his composure and captured the set thanks to an untimely double fault by his compatriot.

The 24-year-old Norrie broke Murray’s serve in the sixth game of the second set and Murray was struggling, bending over between points with his hands on his knees to catch his breath.

He shook his head as he slumped red-faced in his seat at 5-2 down.

He displayed the battling qualities which took him to number one in 2016 to somehow surge back, only to lose the second set on the tie break.

But he somehow wrestled back the initiative in the decider, breaking Norrie’s first service game on the way to a trademark gritty victory.

Also into the quarter-finals was Russian fourth seed Karen Khachanov, a 7-6 (7/0), 7-6 (7/5) winner over France’s Jeremy Chardy.

In the women’s draw, the 2017 US Open finalist Madison Keys was a surprise loser to unseeded fellow American Jennifer Brady.

Teenage US Open champion Bianca Andreescu reached the last 16 with a 6-3, 7-6 (7/5) victory over Belgium’s unseeded Elise Mertens.

AFP

Andy Murray Battles Into China Open Last Eight

Andy Murray of Britain hits a return against Alex de Minaur of Australia during their men’s singles second round match at the Zhuhai Championships tennis tournament in Zhuhai in China’s southern Guangdong province on September 26, 2019. STR / AFP

 

Andy Murray won two ATP Tour singles matches in a row for the first time since major hip surgery to battle into the China Open quarter-finals on Wednesday.

The former world number one outlasted fellow Briton Cameron Norrie 7-6 (8/6), 6-7 (4/7), 6-1 over nearly three gruelling hours and will play top seed Dominic Thiem or Chinese wildcard Zhang Zhizhen next.

The 32-year-old Murray, now ranked a lowly 503, is stepping up his comeback from a career-saving operation in January — and was at his vintage fighting best here.

On Tuesday, in hot and hazy Beijing, he defeated US Open semi-finalist Matteo Berrettini for his biggest scalp since his return to singles tennis in mid-August.

The three-time Grand Slam winner says he no longer has pain in his hip and it is a matter now of building up fitness so he can play several matches in a row at tournaments.

AFP

Zhuhai Championship: Murray Crashes Out Of Last 16

Andy Murray of Britain hits a return against Alex de Minaur of Australia during their men’s singles second round match at the Zhuhai Championships tennis tournament in Zhuhai in China’s southern Guangdong province on September 26, 2019. STR / AFP

 

Andy Murray’s bid to win a first singles title since major hip surgery ended prematurely with defeat by 31st-ranked Alex de Minaur on Thursday at the Zhuhai Championships.

The young Australian defeated the former world number one 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 and will play fourth seed Borna Coric from Croatia on Friday in the last eight.

The 32-year-old Murray on Tuesday won his first ATP Tour singles match since career-saving surgery in January with a three-set victory over American Tennys Sandgren.

Having enjoyed a day’s rest, he started with intent against De Minaur but failed to get his serve firing consistently and clocked up two double faults as he surrendered his second service game.

But the Briton, number one in the world in 2016 but now a lowly 413, broke back twice and sealed the first set when the Australian seventh seed fired long.

The 20-year-old De Minaur burst back in the second set however and Murray looked to be fading physically, the match going into a deciding set.

Murray will play the China Open in Beijing next week as he ramps up his return, but admitted to AFP this week that he does not expect to recapture the form that brought three Grand Slams.

Top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas meanwhile had trouble breathing and quit his opening match before the deciding set.

The 21-year-old Greek was the strong favourite against unseeded Adrian Mannarino of France and took the first set 6-3.

But he appeared to labour badly after that, bending over several times on court and putting his hands on his knees.

He lost the second set 7-5 and retired soon after, looking red in the face and burying his head in his hands.

“I’m very sorry to all the fans who came to see me play tonight in Zhuhai,” said the world number seven.

“I was trying my best but unfortunately I had to retire as I was struggling to breathe out on court.”

AFP

ATP Tour: Andy Murray Records Significant Victory Since Surgery

Andy Murray of Britain serves to Tennys Sandgren of the US during their men’s singles first round match at the Zhuhai Championships tennis tournament in Zhuhai in China’s southern Guangdong province on September 24, 2019. STR / AFP

 

Andy Murray ground out his most significant victory since major hip surgery with a 6-3, 6-7 (6/8), 6-1 win over Tennys Sandgren on Tuesday at the Zhuhai Championships.

This was the former number one’s first triumph in a singles match on the ATP Tour since the 32-year-old had a career-saving operation in January.

A three-time Grand Slam winner but now ranked 413 in the world, the Briton has competed mostly in doubles since and recently played singles on the lower-level Challenger Tour.

He faces seventh seed Alex de Minaur of Australia in the second round in southern China after coming through a physically demanding test lasting more than two and a half hours.

Murray looked exhausted at the end, slumping in his chair and puffing out his cheeks.

There were glimpses of Murray at his best as he sealed the first set in 41 minutes after the 69th-ranked Sandgren planted a backhand wide.

Murray, finally free of hip pain and now attempting to build up his creaking body for the rigours of elite tennis, gave a subtle fist-pump.

Murray squandered match point in the second-set tie break as Sandgren forced a deciding set.

But the American folded in the third, seemingly affected by a foot injury which required extensive strapping with him 3-0 down in the decider.

Victory was a small measure of revenge for Murray, who lost to the 28-year-old last month in his second singles tournament since his return.

After Zhuhai, the China Open in Beijing and the Shanghai Masters, Murray will return to Europe to compete in Antwerp, making it a testing next month on the long road to rehabilitation.

Prior to facing Sandgren in Zhuhai, Murray told AFP that it would be “naive” and “silly” to think he will ever return to being the player that surged to number one in 2016.

AFP

Murray Pursues Singles Comeback At Challenger Tour

Andy Murray of Great Britain returns a shot to Richard Gasquet of France during Day 3 of the Western and Southern Open at Lindner Family Tennis Center on August 12, 2019 in Mason, Ohio. Rob Carr/Getty Images/AFP

 

Former number one Andy Murray is set to compete in his first Challenger Tour in 14 years at Rafael Nadal’s ATP Open in Manacor, Spain. 

The tournament will be held at the Rafael Nadal tennis academy on the island of Mallorca starting Monday.

The Scotsman has confirmed he will skip playing doubles at the US Open to focus on his singles game in Spain and to build up his confidence.

After undergoing hip surgery in January following his first-round exit from the Australian Open, Murray began easing his way back into the game by playing doubles, starting at Queens in June.

However, he opted to drop doubles and focus on a return to singles earlier this month and was beaten in straight sets by Richard Gasquet in Cincinnati.

This was his first singles match since an opening-round Australian Open exit in January.

He then lost to American Tennys Sandgren in the first round of the Winston-Salem Open last week.

The three-time grand slam champion has now decided to step down to the second tier for the first time since 2005 when he played in the Challenger event in Mons as an 18-year-old.

Nadal will not be present at his own event as it clashes with the US Open.

AFP

Murray Rates Cincinnati Singles Comeback ‘OK’ Despite Defeat

Andy Murray of Great Britain returns a shot to Richard Gasquet of France during Day 3 of the Western and Southern Open at Lindner Family Tennis Center on August 12, 2019 in Mason, Ohio. Rob Carr/Getty Images/AFP

 

Three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray said he “did OK” in his first singles match in seven months — a 6-4, 6-4 loss to Richard Gasquet at the Cincinnati Masters on Monday.

“I don’t really know what I was expecting, to be honest,” said Murray, sidelined since January by a career-threatening hip injury. “I did OK.

“There were a lot of things I would like to have done better in the match, but you also have to be somewhat realistic in terms of what you can expect, in terms of how you actually play and hit the ball.”

Murray said he “felt fine, physically,” during the match.

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“My legs were a little bit heavy at the end of the match. When Richard drop-shotted me, there were a few times I didn’t even run to the ball, didn’t react to it.

“That’s nothing to do with my hip, that’s just me not running for a ball.”

Murray hadn’t played a singles match since a five-set first-round exit at the Australian Open, where he tearfully acknowledged he feared his career was over.

Since undergoing right hip resurfacing surgery on January 28 he has slowly fashioned a return.

Murray has been playing doubles for the past two months, winning at Queen’s Club in London with Feliciano Lopez.

Gasquet, however, was too strong for the 32-year-old, who won the title in the US Open warm-up in Cincinnati in 2008 and 2011.

Gasquet, who had groin surgery in January, ended a five-match skid against the Briton, now ranked 324th.

Murray opened the game with a double fault, and his forehand into the net gave Gasquet a match point that the 56th-ranked Frenchman converted when Murray sent a service return wide to end the match after 96 minutes.

Tentative at times, he finished with a respectable 20 winners but struck 28 unforced errors.

 No US Open singles 

He was optimistic he can improve further.

“I think with a few more weeks of practice and hopefully some more matches, then I could do better,” said Murray, who nevertheless said after the match that he did not intend to play singles at the US Open.

“I’m not going to play the US Open singles,” he confirmed, adding that US Open organizers had wanted to know by Monday if he was interested in a wild card invitation.

“I felt like I wanted to maybe try and get a couple of matches in before making a decision like that,” added Murray, who knows the best-of-five-set format at Grand Slams will be even more of a challenge.

The return of former world number one Murray dominated an opening day that saw another former US Open champion, Marin Cilic, join Murray on the sidelines with a 6-4, 7-6 (8/6 loss to Radu Albot.

US wild card Sam Querrey booked a second-round date with top seed Novak Djokovic, defeating France’s Pierre-Hugues Herbert 7-6 (7/2), 7-6 (7/1).

Seven-time champion Roger Federer will start his campaign in the second round against Argentine Juan Ignacio Londero, who defeated Italy’s Matteo Berrettini 7-6 (7/3), 6-3.

Australian Nick Kyrgios slammed a ball skyward in a moment of distracted anger to earn a warning but buckled down to post a 7-5, 6-4 win over Italian Lorenzo Sonego.

In the women’s draw at the ATP-WTA event, 2011 winner Maria Sharapova, who last played here five years ago, came back from a pair of first-round defeats at Wimbledon and Toronto, defeating Alison Riske 6-3, 7-6 (7/4).

Venus Williams defeated fellow American Lauren Davis 7-5, 6-2 to snap a four-match losing streak.

Sweden’s Rebecca Peterson defeated Britain’s Jo Konta, a 2017 quarter-finalist, 6-3, 3-6, 7-5.

AFP

Andy Murray To Return To Singles In Cincinnati Next Week

Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing with his brother Jamie Murray of Great Britain during their doubles match against Raven Klaasen of Russia and Michael Venus of New Zealand during Day 5 of the Citi Open at Rock Creek Tennis Center on August 02, 2019 in Washington, DC. Rob Carr/Getty Images/AFP

 

Three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray said on Friday he will return to singles competition next week at the ATP Cincinnati Masters, seven months after having right hip surgery he feared might end his career.

The British star posted a photo of himself on his Facebook page on court while yelling with a clenched right fist and the caption: “That feeling when you accept a wildcard for the singles in Cinci… #LetsDoThis #HereWeGo.”

The 32-year-old Scotsman has fallen to 325th in the world rankings after his January operation to ease nagging hip pain.

His first match next week in Cincinnati in the final major tuneup for the US Open will be his first competitive singles outing since the Australian Open in January.

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“Good news for the sport,” Spain’s Rafael Nadal said of Murray’s return to singles. “Especially great news for him. That means that he’s healthy.

“That’s going to be a big, big moment for him,” Nadal told reporters in Montreal. After all the retirement that he predicted in Australia … six months later seems like he’s back again, healthy, competing well.”

Murray will face Richard Gasquet in the first round in Cincy. Murray leads their head-to-head 8-3 and beat the Frenchman in the 2015 Cincinnati quarter-finals.

Should Murray make it to the second round, he would face fourth-seeded Austrian Dominic Thiem.

Murray has played doubles in recent weeks while practicing his singles in a bid to regain his fitness in time to play at Cincinnati as preparation for this year’s final Grand Slam event that starts in New York on August 26.

Murray and his brother Jamie played doubles together for the first time since the 2016 Rio Olympics in Washington last week, losing in the quarter-finals.

Murray, the 2012 and 2016 Olympic singles champion, won Grand Slam singles titles at the 2012 US Open and Wimbledon in 2013 and 2016.

Murray Can Still Come Back, Says Bryan

Andy Murray of Great Britain breaks down during a press conference in Melbourne on January 11, 2019, ahead of the Australian Open tennis tournament. Injury-plagued former world number one Murray on January 11, 2019 said he is set to retire this year and hopes to make it till Wimbledon, but conceded the Australian Open could be his last event. William WEST / AFP

 

American doubles legend Bob Bryan gave Andy Murray a ray of hope on Wednesday, saying he believes the former world number one could make a comeback after major hip surgery.

“I personally think he can do it,” said Bryan, who was talking after enjoying a winning comeback in his first Grand Slam doubles since undergoing his own hip replacement surgery last summer.

Murray bowed out of the Australian Open on Monday for potentially the last time after saying his hip pain was too much too bear.

Earlier he had declared he would call it a day on his storied career after Wimbledon if he got that far.

“Look, I’m happy to be back,” said the 40-year-old Bryan. “I got a metal hip. There was no guarantees I was going to make it back.

“Going in to get a metal hip implant, there’s no one that’s come back from that in tennis. I’m happy it’s feeling good.”

Bryan said Murray, 31, had explored every conceivable avenue trying to find a solution to his chronic hip pain.

“I just represent an option for him,” he said. “That guy does everything you can possibly do as far as training and rehab.

“He’s talked to a million specialists. But I’m really the only guy to be playing on tour with a metal hip.”

An emotional Murray opened up about the personal agony of his battered right hip after losing an epic Australian Open five-setter to Roberto Bautista Agut two days earlier.

The three-time Grand Slam champion said he hates even simple things like walking his dogs because the pain is so bad.

Full metal packet 

Murray faces a heart-wrenching dilemma — battle on through the pain for an emotional farewell at Wimbledon or undergo major surgery in the next week or so knowing it may mean he can never play tennis again.

Bryan gave his view of what Murray might expect under the scalpel and rehab.

“It’s called a hip resurfacing with an artificial implant,” explained Bryan. “It’s a full replacement. Has the bar that goes all the way down the femur.

“I was on crutches a couple days later. I was at the US Open (in September) three weeks after surgery with a cane.

“We started our training December 5 hitting some balls pretty hard, playing some sets,” he revealed.

“Look, I’m showing that it can be done in doubles, but no one’s ever come back with this surgery on the singles court,” cautioned the holder of a record 16 Grand Slam men’s doubles titles alongside brother Mike.

“I think he’s going to have the surgery. He’s probably going to just rehab it as best he can. If he sees there’s a chance to come back, you know…

“I personally think he can do it. But, you know, there’s no evidence that it’s possible in tennis. I mean, so much wear and tear. But I think he could do it.”

AFP