Andy Murray says singles return is ‘closer than I thought’

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The tennis star says he will return to the singles court “as soon as I’m ready” but appears to be much more positive.

Andy Murray says his return to singles tennis may be closer than he originally thought.

The three-time Grand Slam winner returned to the game in January following a hip resurfacing operation but has so far been restricted to doubles action.

Speaking about his return to the singles game, the 32-year-old told reporters: “I’m closer than maybe what I thought I was.”

He said his best hope would be a return to the singles court at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati in August.

If not, he would wait until after the US Open.

“Best case scenario probably would be Cincinnati,” he said.

“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, either, to be playing best-of-five.”

The star said he would return to the singles game “as soon as I’m ready”.

“In terms of how I’m moving and feeling… from these practices I’m really happy with where I’m at,” Murray added.

“I’m quite close, but there’s stuff that will need to get better. If I was to play a tournament in a few weeks’ time, I could do it.

“But it’s just to get to maybe where I want to get to, I’ll need to play matches and get a little bit more work done in the gym on my cardio.

“Basically, what I’m doing here is for the most part I’m going to practice singles and play doubles, to compete.

“And then each week I’m just going to see. If I keep progressing and I feel good in three weeks’ time, I’ll play singles as soon as I’m ready.”

Murray won his first tournament since his operation at Queen’s in June with men’s doubles partner Feliciano Lopez.

His appearances since have been less successful, as he suffered early exits at Eastbourne and Wimbledon – despite teaming up with 23-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams in the Wimbledon mixed doubles.

Murray will next be linking up with brother Jamie at next week’s Citi Open in Washington, where Jamie is the defending champion.

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