Andy Murray has all but ruled himself out of a return to singles at next month’s US Open, saying he needs more time to fight his way back to full competitive sharpness after his hip operation.
The Scot’s rehab continued on its winning way at Wimbledon on Tuesday night as he progressed into the third round of the mixed doubles alongside Serena Williams – but after the 7-5, 6-3 victory over Williams’ US compatriot Raquel Atawo and Fabrice Martin of France he said the next Slam at Flushing Meadows would probably come too soon.
“I think it’s pretty unlikely I’ll play,” Murray said. “I talked to my team a bit about this yesterday. There’s just a lot of stuff to get done physically so I’m stronger.
“The amount of work I need to do on the court to get ready for singles, the amount of work I need to put in off the court to be strong enough to play best-of-five sets – that’s still quite a ways away, unfortunately.
“I would love to play but I need to look, like, pretty long-term with this. I don’t want to be having to go through another big operation in a few years’ time. I want to make sure the operation I’ve had lasts for as long as possible. To give it the best chance, I need to make sure that I’m physically really strong.”
Murray was asked if this meant he was targeting the Australian Open at the start of next year. “I don’t know exactly. You guys want a timeframe but I can’t give you an exact one. I think what I’ve done this grass court season has been a positive thing. Some people might like [full recovery] to have taken five or six months but it’s going to be more than that. Whether that’s nine, 12 or 18 months, I don’t know. I’ll do my best to make it as soon as I can.”