Mur­ray in a ‘ bet­ter place’ ahead of Oz Open

Weekend Witness - - ­spor T­ 25 -

ANDY­Murr ay­is­s till­f eel­ing­the­e ffect­sof­a­hip­in­jury­that­f orced­a­pr ema­ture­end­t o­his­2018­ac tiv­ity,­but­theBri­ton­hope s­the­p ain­will­e ase­as­hep­lays­mor e­mat ches­in­the­l ead-up­t onext­month ’s­A us­tralian­Open.

The­f ormer­w orld­num­ber­one­r eturned­t o­the­A TP­t our­in­June­af ter­hav­ing­hip­sur gery­at­the­s tart­o f­theyear­but­ended­his­s ea­son­in­Sept ember­t o­c on­cen­trate­on­be­ing­in­thebest­po ssi­ble­shape­f or­2019 .

“I­s till­ha ve­s ome­p ain­in­my­hip­but­I­need­t o­pl ay­mat ches­and­s ee­ how­it­f eels­when­I­am­abl e­t o­pl aythree,­f our,­fiv e­mat ches­in­a­r ow­and­take­it­fr om­ther e,”­Murr ay­t old­r eporters­ahe ad­o f­ne xt­w eek’s­Brisb ane­In­ter­na­tional.

“Last­y ear­when­I­c ame­her e­it­w as­tough,­I­w as­s trug­gling­quit e­a­l ot.­It­def­i­nitely­f eels­a­bit­be tter­than­it­did­com­ing­her e­l ast­y ear.­I’v e­al waysloved­pl ay­ing­her e.”

Mur­ray,­who se­w orld­r ank­ing­has­dropped­t o­256 ,­said­he­w as­in­a“bet­ter­pl ace”­than­he­w as­a­f ew­months­ag o­when­he­miss ed­Wimbl e- don­and­s tum­bled­t o­a­s de­feat­at­the­U .S.­Open.

He­ended­his­2018­s ea­son­af ter­l os­ing­in­the­quart er-fi­nals­o f­the­Shen­ - zhen­Open­and­Murr ay­said­he­hope­dto­r eturn­t o­his­be st­in­the­ne xt­f ewweeks­in­A us­tralia.

“I­w ould­jus t­lik e­t o­g et­thr ough­the­tour­na­ments­and­f eel­lik e­I­am­abl e­t ocom­pete­and­no t­be­r es­tricted­b y­my­hip,”­Murr ay­added.

The­A us­tralian­Open­will­be­hel Mel­bourne­fr om­Jan­uary­ 14-27.

—­R eu­ters. econd-round­ d­in­

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