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Andy Murray comeback: What we learnt at Queen's Club
The level of Andy Murray's performance was promising at Queen's Club, but will play at Wimbledon?
Last Updated: 20/06/18 4:43pm
After 342 days since his last competitive outing, Andy Murray finally made it back on court in the Fever-Tree Championships at Queen's Club against Nick Kyrgios, but what did we learn and what's next?
The three-time Grand Sam winner played his first match since limping out of last year's Wimbledon quarter-final, ending an 11-month absence from competitive tennis, and although he lost to Kyrgios, the level of his performance was promising.
Impressive Murray beaten on comeback
Andy Murray beaten on comeback from injury by Nick Kyrgios at Queen's Club
Here are some key questions about his comeback and what lies in store for Murray.
How did he play?
Murray produced a solid display considering he made it back on court after a long battle with a hip injury. His first serve percentage was down at 56, but he won 76 per cent. His second serve win percentage of 40 per cent showed encouraging signs, and was a lot better than his opponent's.
Although there were more errors than usual, he pushed a player who is ranked 21 in the world all the way to the end with 16 aces and eight double faults. Even Kyrgios was surprised by how well Murray played, saying: "I'm sure it wasn't anywhere near his highest level, but I wasn't expecting anything less. I knew he was going to compete so it wasn't going to take him long to see the ball at all. He returned every time he got a racket on the ball. His serve rhythm and all that will take time to come back. I thought he played okay."
How was Murray on court?
It did not take long to see that the fire is still raging in Murray's belly. He has lost none of the competitive drive and fighting spirit that has seen him compete at the top of the men's game for the last decade. He saved two match points and on several occasions gave out his trademark roar that has been so badly missed by British fans.
His coach Jamie Delgado, fitness trainer Matt Little, wife Kim Sears, and mother Judy were all in attendance and gave their unequivocal support to the 31-year-old.
What was his movement like?
In general, it was like the Murray of old as he chased lost causes and hunted down numerous drop shots. There were times when he looked to struggle with side-to-side movement - and Kyrgios made him work hard during lengthy rallies - but Murray put that down to being cautious about how his body might react. He was still walking gingerly in between points, but he has never been the most relaxed of movers. There was a period early in the third set when he kept feeling his back, but he later confirmed that was nothing serious and not related to his hip.
How did he feel afterwards?
Murray admitted to feeling tired and emotional after his gruelling match, but "decent" overall. There was no specific pain in the hip, so the signs were encouraging.
"I'm a bit stiff just now. I've got normal stuff that you would get after maybe playing on a grass court for the first time in a while. My left glute is pretty stiff I think from landing on the serve and stuff," he said. "The longest I have practised in the last year has been an hour and a half. So I was on the court for significantly longer than that in a more intense environment. I'm feeling decent, considering that."
When will he play again?
Murray said will speak to his team to decide what is next. There is an ATP Tour tournament in Eastbourne next week that he could potentially play in, as well as exhibition events in the build-up to Wimbledon, including Stoke Park. The Scot is expected leave it late before deciding.
I'll kind of need to wait and see what happens the next few days and chat with my team about that, because I don't know exactly what's best for me just now.
"I'm really happy that I got on the match court today and played," said Murray. "It was a close decision. I have not been practising loads at all. I have been hitting for a couple of weeks so I really haven't played a whole lot of tennis. I'm happy I got out there and competed and performed respectably. I'll kind of need to wait and see what happens the next few days and chat with my team about that, because I don't know exactly what's best for me just now."
Will he play at Wimbledon?
Murray refused to commit to taking part at Wimbledon, setting up more 'Will he? Won't he?' intrigue after last year's doubts over his participation. He admitted playing a five-set match would have been difficult for him in his current state and with Wimbledon starting on July 2 that does not bode too well, but it would take a major setback in the next week or so to keep him away.
The former world No 1 will see how he fully recovers from his first game back before deciding on what to do, but said he won't rule anything out. "I won't rule out playing Eastbourne and not playing Wimbledon. I wouldn't rule out not playing a tournament next week and trying to get matches like in an exhibition tournament, as well, to get ready for Wimbledon."
Do you think Andy Murray will play at Wimbledon?
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