Former world no. 1 and the three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray enjoyed a stellar run in the second half of 2016, winning 78 matches and nine titles overall to melt an enormous gap he had over Novak Djokovic after Roland Garros and finish the season at the top.
That would cost him a lot already in the first half of 2017, starting to struggle with a severe hip injury (he had some solid results in Dubai and Roland Garros) and deciding to quit the season after Wimbledon to recover for 2018.
As it turned out, the injury was much more serious than he thought and Andy finally underwent surgery in January last year after being forced to skip Brisbane. Returning at Queen's and Eastbourne in June, Murray was still unable to play pain-free, missing Wimbledon for the first time since 2007 and hoping for a better run in 2019, eager to make a comeback and extend his career.
At the Australian Open, Andy received sympathies from the entire tennis world after a heroic battle with Roberto Bautista Agut that the Spaniard won in four hours and nine minutes. In a post-match press conference, Murray couldn't hold the tears, speaking about the possible end of his tennis journey since the pain was just too intense, not only on the court but in regular life as well.
Determined to give one more push, Andy underwent another hip surgery at the end of January, having a metal cap placed at the top of his femur that finally put the pain away (so-called “Birmingham hip”). After a quiet month of February, Andy appeared at the Queen's Club, promoting a new clothing deal with Castore and announcing a potential comeback this summer if everything goes well with his preparations.
Attending London marathon this weekend, Andy spoke about his current shape and the improvements he has made since the last surgery, being pain-free and making small steps towards the desired comeback that could happen at Wimbledon if everything goes right in the next couple of weeks.
Still, Murray will not make a mistake and hit the court before he feels 100% ready to give his best against the best rivals, targeting the place in the top-50 if he decides to give his career another push. "I feel good, walking around pain-free which hasn't been the case for 18 months, two years.
Date to date things I'm doing much more enjoyable now and I feel good. At the moment, there's less than 50% of chance for me to play singles at Wimbledon, doubles maybe, possibly. I'm not allowed to start any high-impact moving and staff four months after the surgery and it will not be until then whether I see whether I'm able to compete at any level.
It is unlikely that I would chase the place in the top-10 but maybe it is possible to find the level for the top-50 or top-100, I just have to wait and see. I don't have any pressure to come back and play, I don't feel like I have to go back and compete at Wimbledon and play tennis again.
If my hip allows me to play that's brilliant. If not, at least I'm not in pain anymore. My comeback is still wide open and the fact that I had been able to compete with my hip in such a terrible condition against some good rivals gives me hope I can do that again with no pain and with that hip being in much better condition."