Fifteen months ago, the three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray stood outside the top-800, unsure what his tennis future brings after ongoing hip problems that sidelined him from the court since Wimbledon 2017. Following the second hip surgery this January, Andy started to work on the comeback and made a rather impressive one, winning the doubles title at Queen's in June with Feliciano Lopez and switching focus on singles in the next couple of months, failing to find the form before October.
Determined to make another strong push ahead of 2020, Andy embraced the Asian swing and had scored some wins in Zhuhai, Beijing and Shanghai before returning to Europe and entering his last ATP tournament of the year in Antwerp.
In Belgium, Murray grabbed five victories and lifted the first ATP title since Dubai 2017, ousting Stan Wawrinka in the final after numerous obstacles in what had been one of the most emotional moments of his career. That triumph against Stan was Andy's 450th on hard court, becoming only the sixth player in the Open era to achieve that after Roger Federer, Andre Agassi, Novak Djokovic, Jimmy Connors and Rafael Nadal, earning another massive milestone ahead of 2020 when we should see him in contention for big titles again.
Still, 2001 Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic thinks Murray can't compete for Major titles anymore as he can't deal with seven best-of-five matches in 14 days. If Andy stays healthy, Goran can see him causing some upsets but is not a contender for the fourth title of the highest order, struggling to win one since Wimbledon 2016.
"A Slam? No chance. But he can make some surprises, he can go far but to win I don't think that he can survive seven matches - best-of-five," said Ivanisevic ahead of the Champions Tennis tournament at the Royal Albert Hall.
"It's only about health - if he's healthy and the hip is fine, I don't think that anyone wants to play against Andy next year. He is a great competitor and when he steps on the court, he wants to win. He is not good for the opponents.
It's going to be good. I don't know what ranking, it's tough to say no, but if he's healthy, he can be up there."