Andy Murray to lighten ATP load in 2018

Dec 31, 2017 - 6:06 AM Andy Murray expects more players to start skipping tournaments mid season as the former world No.1 prepares to return from a hip injury in Brisbane.

Doubt was cast over his involvement in the Australian summer, but Murray says he's ready to take the plunge after hitting in the Queensland humidity on Sunday.

A failing body stopped the Scot's 2017 season after Wimbledon and he will return on either Tuesday or Wednesday for his first competitive match since July ranked 16 in the world, after starting the year on top.

Current No.1 Rafael Nadal (knee) has already withdrawn from the tournament, while fellow top-four seeds Nick Krygios (hip) and Milos Raonic (hip and calf) are also on the comeback from injury.

Novak Djokovic (elbow) is also struggling, while Roger Federer took a bulk of 2016 off before his triumphant Australian Open return earlier this year.

"I'm aware of the situation at the end of last year (2017) especially because for tennis and the sport it's not good," he said of the spate of injuries to the sport's best players.

"I don't think that's a good thing and is something that should be looked at to understand why, what the reason for that is.

"I'm hoping that that doesn't continue happening."

The 30-year-old said his enforced rest made him realise how much he missed playing and reinforced that regular rest would be needed for him to keep playing.

"I just want to enjoy playing again, I really missed it," he said.

"I want to play tennis... I don't mind if it's 30 in the world level - I'd love it to be number one in the world level - I just want to play.

"When that's taken away from you, you realise how important it is."

Murray confirmed he would lighten his load in 2018 and encouraged his fellow pros to do the same.

"Yeah and I'd recommend it," he said when asked if he expected more players to take mid-season breaks.

"I'd want to play as long as I could and to physically do that giving yourself breaks, especially as you start to get older, I think is very important and something that I'll be looking to do for however long I keep playing."

Unsure of his own level, the three-time major winner said it was a matter of suck it and see in Brisbane.

"You can't just be rehabbing for 10 months unless you've had surgery and been told it's that long," he said.

"If you're not going to have surgery there comes a point where you need to get back to competing again, see how actually you're doing.

"If I don't (play my best tennis) I'm okay with that, I just want to keep playing."

Source: AAP

No one has shouted yet.
Be the first!