Daily Mirror

It’s so hip to be just like Murray


ANDY MURRAY’S Aussie opponent today cannot equal the Scot’s total of three Grand Slam titles – but they have shared a hip surgeon.

And world No.77 James Duckworth (below) has had the biggest number of operations after going under the knife 10 times during his career.

The son of a surgeon reached a career-high of world No.46 in January before having hip work which kept him out until May. He has yet to win an ATP Tour-level match since his return.

“Andy’s first hip surgery was done by

John O’Donnell in Melbourne, who did mine just recently as well,” said Duckworth.

“I had a labral tear and had a bit of bone shaved off as well. I didn’t play a tournament for 16 weeks, a bit unfortunat­e. I was playing pretty well at the end of last year.

“To have that momentum stopped was tough but I’m slowly getting a bit better each week.

“It is not 100 per cent – that will take a few more weeks. It is good enough to play. I’m a work in progress.”

During his career Duckworth, 30, has seemed like a surgery in progress. “I had my first elbow operation in 2012,” he said before taking a deep breath.

“I had another one in 2014. I had two feet in 2017. A shoulder in 2017. Another foot in 2018. An elbow in 2018. A shoulder in 2020. Then just a hip recently.

“So I can definitely empathise with Andy. Not knowing if you can come back. Having a few question marks about your body. I’ve always loved watching him play.

“It’s very cool to see him still going with the injury he has had on his hip. He is someone I looked up to.

“He has been through a lot physically. Someone like that is pretty inspiratio­nal.

“I just love tennis. It’s a lot of fun, I enjoy the competitio­n, I enjoy pushing myself, I enjoy the battle. That is why I keep going.”

Murray has twice beaten Duckworth, the last time in Brisbane in his final win before his 2019 hip resurfacin­g operation.

“I haven’t discussed the hip issues,” said Murray. “I know he had an operation after the Australian Open this year.

“He’s proper hard worker. I wish him well coming back from the surgery. We’ll have a good match.”

 ?? ?? FLOWER OF SCOTLAND Murray practising yesterday ahead of his opening match
FLOWER OF SCOTLAND Murray practising yesterday ahead of his opening match
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