Millennium Post

Andy Murray says 'naive' to think he will return to top

Andy Murray says naive to think he   will return to top

Zhuhai (China): Andy Murray said Sunday it would be "naive" and "silly" to think he will ever return to being the player that surged to number one in the world.

The 32-year-old Briton, a three-time Grand Slam champion, is on a long comeback trail after undergoing career-saving hip resurfacing surgery in January.

He is now free of pain, and this week will compete at the Zhuhai Championships — the first of three tournaments he is scheduled to play in China in the next three weeks. Murray believes this crucial period in his rehabilitation will provide some answers as to how good he can be again — but is under no illusions about the longer term.

"Honestly, I'm not expecting to get back to my very best," Murray, now ranked 413 in the world, told AFP in Zhuhai.

"I think it would be probably a bit naive and silly to think that would be the case.

"I do feel like tennis-wise I can still compete at the highest level in terms of my skill, it's just whether physically I can get to a high enough level to be competitive right at the top.

"I've still got quite a ways to go in that respect, I don't know exactly where the end point is.

"Probably until I stop improving, I'll then have to make a call (about his future).

"If my improvement stopped today, I probably wouldn't be happy playing at the level I'm at just now."

Murray, who surged to the top of the world rankings in 2016, plays Tennys Sandgren, ranked 69, at the inaugural event in Zhuhai, southern China this week.

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