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I nearly retired before Antwerp win, says Andy Murray

 

Hip hurrah: Andy Murray’s feeling good
Hip hurrah: Andy Murray’s feeling good

By George Sessions

Andy Murray has revealed he contemplated retirement a matter of weeks before winning the European Open in Antwerp last month.

The former World No.1 is still in the early stages of his comeback from career-saving hip surgery last January, but pinpointed success in Asia as a turning point in his recovery.

After gaining more confidence during tournaments in Zhuhai, Beijing and Shanghai, the Scot produced a remarkable level of consistency to win in Belgium - his first title since 2017.

Now he is eyeing a return to singles action at Wimbledon next year, and five-set success at the Australian Open in January.

"Asia was basically where I started to realise I can do this because at the beginning of that trip, literally two or three days before the first tournament in Asia, I was having conversations with my team," Murray said.

"I was practising and I was like 'no, I am giving this until the end of the year and if I'm not winning matches and feeling better than I am now, I don't want to keep going.'

"I was putting a lot of effort in but my movement wasn't at the right level, but as I started to play quite a few matches it changed quite quickly, and I thought I was a lot further away than I was and that was what a lot of guys in the team were saying to me.

"They were saying 'you are much closer than you think' and I won a few matches, started to feel better and maybe as well I gained more confidence in my hip. I stopped thinking about it in matches - which was quite a big step.

"At the beginning you are thinking about it after every movement you make, and that is not a good way to go into competing, but now I am not thinking about it when I'm playing."

Now he is eager to challenge himself in the longest form, starting at the Australian Open - the scene where Murray finally made public the full extent of his hip problems.

He added: "I'm not expecting to win the tournament but if I can play a five-set match and get through and have no ill effects on the hip then that is success."

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