June 3, 2019
Andy Murray is set to return to competitive action for the first time since January.
Sir Andy has confirmed that he will play doubles in the Fever Tree Championships at Queen’s Club later this month.
And if all goes well there, many believe that Murray will surely play doubles at Wimbledon too.
Feliciano Lopez will partner him at Queen’s Club.
The 37-year-old was once amusingly nicknamed “Deliciano” by Murray’s mother Judy, due to his stunning physique and good looks. He is ranked 51 in the doubles.
But all eyes will be on Andy to see if he comes through with no adverse reaction from his hip, following his last surgery at the start of the year.
If he does, Wimbledon surely beckons.
Imagine Murray playing doubles on Centre Court or No1 Court at Wimbledon this year, after some stunning singles matches involving other superstars.
What an extra treat that would be!
One step at a time, though. Andy is clearly thrilled to be back in any kind of competitive action – as the fans will be too.
Murray said: ‘I am really excited to return to the match court for the first time since my surgery.
‘Queen’s has always been a special place for me and it’s the perfect place to return.
‘It’s where I won my first ATP match, my first title in Britain and on grass, and it’s been my most successful tournament overall.
‘I’m not yet ready to return to the singles court, but I’ve been pain-free for a few months now.
‘I’ve made good progress in training and on the practice court, and this is the next step for me as I try to return to the tour.’
The message is simple: doubles this summer and it all goes well, a return to singles could come later.
It is sensible stuff from Sir Andy. He doesn’t want to subject his hip to the punishing lateral movement you need to play singles. Not just yet, anyway.
Doubles means you only have half the distance to cover, you are already pretty much in position to show off your skills.
Sure, some sharp reactions and therefore sharp movement are necessary.
But we are not talking about the constant, gruelling changes of direction as you chase down returns deep into one corner then the other.
Doubles will help bring back Andy’s competive edge in a fun, pressure-free environment.
And if Queen’s goes well and he plays doubles at Wimbledon, the stage will be set.
Picture the scene: Federer and Serena in the singles on Centre Court… Then the late clamour to see Murray perform in the doubles too.
It is the stuff dreams are made of for Wimbledon tennis fans… And it could come true in a few weeks’ time.
First things first. Congratulations on your return Andy. Good luck, take it easy and enjoy the limelight once more.
Who knows where this new competitive journey will take you?
By Mark Ryan