Andy Murray to play singles in Zhuhai

Andy Murray to play singles in Zhuhai

Andy Murray, of Britain, smiles after practice at the Western & Southern Open tennis tournament, Sunday, Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019, in Mason, Ohio.

Andy Murray smiled as he walked off the court after a brisk practice session, pain-free and moving better all the time. Retirement? Out of mind for now.

Murray has not ruled out making his return to a grand slam singles draw at the US Open, which begins on 26 August, but the 2012 victor in NY and may be wary of competing in best-of-five-set matches so soon after coming back.

At the Australian Open in January Murray announced the hip had forced him to search for an exit route. He had a second hip operation in January that implanted metal, eliminated the pain and totally changed his outlook.

Murray will face Richard Gasquet in the first round of the Western & Southern Open on Monday.

"When you're playing at the highest level against the best players, they hit the ball big and that takes some time to get used to". That's the situation I'm in and I would have signed up for being in this position that I'm in right now six months ago. "Hopefully it makes for some exciting early round matches".

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Murray will compete in his first singles event at next week's Cincinnati Masters, seven months after his tearful revelation in Australia that his career could be over due to injury.

The two-time Wimbledon champion partnered his brother, Jamie Murray, at the Citi Open at the end of July, but the duo were knocked out in the quarterfinals.

"I have zero pain", Murray said. "I thought it maybe would have changed my perspective completely on things, but I'm sitting here disappointed, which I think is probably a good thing, and if I want to get back to playing at a high level, if I was sort of just happy to be back on the court and not really anxious about the outcome, then I'd be a bit maybe concerned about that". "It's been a long process to get here, but to get back maybe to where I want to get is going to take a lot of time and a lot more work". I started playing singles again only a couple of weeks ago.

Form and rankings go out the window for this match-up between two players of a similar age who have undergone big operations this year, Murray's hip and Gasquet's groin, and fought back through recovery to re-join the tour. "So in the next few months, I'll build up to that".

Djokovic won Cincinnati for the first time previous year after five finals losses, beating Federer to claim the only ATP Masters 1000 title that had eluded him.

Murray won the Beijing tournament in 2016, defeating Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets in the final.

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