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Singles return may not be too far off: Murray

 

Comeback trail: Andy Murray
Comeback trail: Andy Murray

By Carol Smyth

Three-time Grand Slam winner Andy Murray has revealed his singles return may be closer than he originally thought.

The 32-year-old has so far been restricted to doubles action since returning after his hip resurfacing operation in January, winning his first tournament back at Queen's in June before suffering early exits at Eastbourne and Wimbledon.

He will link up with brother Jamie at next week's Citi Open in Washington and, speaking ahead of the tournament, he said: "I'm closer than maybe what I thought I was."

Murray added that a return to the hard courts in August was in his sights, and if not then he would wait until after the US Open.

He said: "Best-case scenario probably would be Cincinnati. And then if I wasn't able to play in Cincinnati, there's a good chance I would probably wait until after New York, because I wouldn't want my first tournament to be playing best-of-five (sets)."

Murray's last Grand Slam appearance was on the hard courts of Melbourne, where he was dispatched in the first round by quarter-finalist Roberto Bautista Agut in four sets.

The Murray brothers last played together at the Rio Olympics, but were a prolific partnership during Great Britain's 2015 Davis Cup victory, while they have won two ATP Tour titles together, in Tokyo in 2011 and Valencia the year before.

Jamie is the defending champion at Washington, having won the tournament last year with Bruno Soares.

Meanwhile, seeds Katerina Siniakova and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova both crashed out in the first round of the Citi Open.

Sixth seed Siniakova was defeated by American Jessica Pegula 6-4 6-3, while Russia's Pavlyuchenkova - the seventh seed - lost 6-2 4-6 7-5 to Pegula's compatriot Christina McHale.

Third seed Sofia Kenin came through an all-US contest as she beat Jennifer Brady 6-2 6-4.

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