It could have been a lot worse: Andy Murray could have said goodbye to tennis on January 11th, 2019, after the splendid match lost at the Australian Open against Roberto Bautista. Instead, the Scot surprised the world and himself, undergoing the delicate hip resurfacing surgery, which, to date, we can say it was a success.
Murray's movements seem much more fluid. He played some tournaments from Wimbledon onwards with relative safety and continuity. Starting from the doubles at the Queen's club - where he won the title with Feliciano Lopez - up to the victory at the European Open in Antwerp, in the final against Stan Wawrinka.
What are his prospects for 2020? From 2019 Cincinnati onwards, his main goal was to find confidence with the men's singles, find the rhythm of the matches and test his body, looking for any physical problems. In general, his come back was positive and for next season the feelings are very positive.
Murray is recovering from the months of inactivity and from the surgical operations in a surprising way. Until the 2020 Australian Open he will have more time to improve his psycho-physical shape, reducing the gap that still exists with his rivals.
His body held up well to the pressure of the matches he played, and the victory in Antwerp is the right reward for his determination and his stubbornness. Competing at the same level against Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer is still a utopia.
But starting in January, if his recovery will proceed as planned then, step-by-step, he will be able to reach half of the next season at a level that will compete with the best players. And for him, this must be the main motivation and not the utopia.