Andy Murray adjusts aims after hip injury ahead of 2018
By Mathieu Wood
Last Updated: 28/12/17 6:10am
Andy Murray has admitted his injury-plagued 2017 campaign has forced the former World No 1 to adjust his goals ahead of the new season.
The three-time Grand Slam champion has not played a competitive match since a five-set defeat to Sam Querrey in the Wimbledon quarter-finals in July.
Murray revealed his intention, in November, to return to the circuit at the Brisbane International, which starts on New Year's Eve, and the two-time Wimbledon champion revealed returning to full fitness is his main focus.
Will Murray and Djokovic bounce back?
We've asked our panel of experts about what to expect from Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic in 2018.
When asked what impact the lengthy period on the sidelines has had, he told Sky Sports' Jacquie Beltrao: "When I was fit and healthy last year (2016) you think about winning all the major events, getting to No 1 and winning every competition that you are in and that is what really drives you.
"When you miss four or five months and there has been a bit of uncertainty about my hip or stuff (that changes). I missed the US Open and almost missed Wimbledon as well.
"The goals change and I remember now how much I just loved playing tennis - it isn't about winning every match that I play in the future or winning more slams.
"I want to get back to playing tennis, I want to be fit and healthy and that is what is driving me just now.
"I am hoping next year I can get back to that and if I do (get back to being fit and healthy) then I have an opportunity to compete for the biggest tournaments in the world and I still believe that."
The 30-year-old, who has fallen outside the top 10 for the first time in a decade, also spoke of his intention to focus on impressing at the Grand Slams and stand-out Masters series events.
"For me moving forward, rather than looking at the rankings and the effort it took to get me there potentially set me back a little because I had played a lot of tennis in a very short period of time.
"The major competitions are the ones that drive me more than the ranking. I want to compete - it was tough for me basically limping out of Wimbledon at the end.
"I want to be competing hard and trying to win the Australian Open in January and the (other) Grand Slams. That is ultimately what I want to be doing but first and foremost I need to get healthy.
"I was pretty unhealthy for most of this year and I am getting there but it is a slow process."
Meanwhile, the British No 1's brother Jamie, who secured two mixed doubles Grand Slam titles in 2017 alongside Martina Hingis, is concerned that British tennis has not made the most of Andy's achievements.
Aljaz Bedene, who revealed earlier this month he will revert his allegiance back to Slovenia, and Kyle Edmund are the only two other British male players inside the world's top 100 in the rankings while Johanna Konta is the leading Grand Slam hope in the women's game.
"If we both stop playing tennis tomorrow (then) I do not honestly think you could really say there would be loads to show for it - which is sad," said Jamie.
WATCH: Konta seeking more success
Johanna Konta discusses her rise to fame, her Grand Slam successes and how she is looking to improve in 2018.
"With every year that continues not to happen it is another year wasted. Especially like Andy, when he stops playing, it will be a shame.
"It is not like there is going to be another Andy any time soon. People kind of forget quickly as well so while the interest is at a peak you have to find ways to take advantage of that."
2017 Tennis - The year in numbers
We take a look back at the key numbers from the world of tennis in 2017...
We'll be back in 2018 with coverage from the Australian Open on www.skysports.com/tennis with news, previews, live blogs, reports and expert analysis.
On the move? Head to our app for mobile devices and iPad, or follow our Twitter account @SkySportsTennis to join in the conversation. Who will win the Australian Open? Have your say...
Tennis updates straight to your phone
How to receive all the latest tennis news straight to your mobile