Andy Murray says he is still playing tennis for the love of the game as he prepares for Queen's Club
Andy Murray is preparing for his first singles outing on grass in three years at Queen's Club this week but with Wimbledon just around the corner, the 34-year-old Scot remains unsure whether his body will hold up following the fitness issues which have dogged him in recent years
By Raz Mirza
Last Updated: 14/06/21 2:20pm
Andy Murray says he is still playing tennis because of his love for the game as the former world No 1 prepares for this week's Cinch Championships at Queen's Club.
The three-time Grand Slam champion has not played since March after suffering a groin injury in his sleep and then deciding to skip the clay-court season in order to prepare for Wimbledon.
He was due to play at the ATP Challenger event in Nottingham last week but withdrew in order to prepare properly for Queen's Club.
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The 34-year-old, currently ranked 123 in the world, said: "I feel okay. I don't feel perfect, but, I have been practising well over the last month or so, pretty consistently. I have been training at Wimbledon, and we came out here the last few days and had a couple of good practices.
"The question mark is obviously whether the body holds up and I can't say with any great certainty right now whether that's going to happen or not because I have been feeling good at different points throughout the last nine months or so.
"I can't say with any great certainty I will be okay. I hope I will be, because I have seen enough again in practice that my tennis is fine and in a good place, but physically I need to hold up under playing matches."
Murray revealed he has spoken to a number of his former coaches to garner advice as to how, why and when they decided it was the right time to retire from the game.
The Scot was unequivocal in his answer, saying he still has the desire and motivation to keep playing as long as he can.
"The reason why I'm still playing is because I love playing tennis," he said. "I know that I can still compete with the best players in the world. I have been doing it consistently in practice over these last sort of six months, seven months, and certainly on the grass I don't see why not.
"My level is still good. It's just I need my body to hold up, and it's been extremely frustrating for me with all the different issues.
"I still have the desire to go out there and compete and to train every day to try and improve and give myself a chance to keep going. To create more memories on the court and get more wins."
"I don't know exactly what everyone is expecting of me, but judging by what you can see on social media, a lot of people don't think that I can play and compete at this level anymore"
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Murray faces France's Benoit Paire on Tuesday at Queen's, the scene of five singles titles and an emotional doubles win with Feliciano Lopez in 2019, on his comeback from hip surgery.
The two-time Wimbledon champion says his priority is to stay "healthy" but remains adamant he can still play high-level tennis again.
"If I can get through these matches and feel physically well, I'm sure that I'll win tennis matches and do things that are maybe slightly not unexpected," he said.
"I don't know exactly what everyone is expecting of me, but judging by what you can see on social media, a lot of people don't think that I can play and compete at this level anymore.
"You need to be able to get through tennis matches and compete at the highest level. I have been unable to do that. I don't want to promise anything in terms of that respect, because I don't even know myself exactly. Let's wait and see what happens, but my goal and priority is to be healthy."