Murray undergoes hip surgery so that daughter can see him play
Tennis

Murray undergoes hip surgery so that daughter can see him play

08 January 2018 / 13:47

The thought of his daughter watching him play is what motivated Andy Murray to possibly prolong his career by having hip surgery.

Double Olympic champion Murray had previously steered away from having surgery on his troublesome hip but finally went under the knife in Melbourne.

Murray also revealed he underwent minor surgery on his groin in December, which relieved some pain but did not enable him to return to competitive action at the Australian Open.

Having pulled out of a tournament in Brisbane and the year’s opening Grand Slam, Murray opted for hip surgery in the hope of returning to the top of the game – with eldest daughter Sophia there to see it.

“That would be cool if she can come along and watch me hit some balls or practise just to see what it is I do,” he told British tennis writers from his hospital bed.

Murray

“I like watching and seeing a lot of the other kids when they are on the tour with their parents.”

The 30-year-old has not played competitively since losing to Sam Querrey in the Wimbledon quarter-finals last July.

He pulled out of the US Open having made the trip to New York to see if he was fit enough to play, and did the same with the upcoming Australian Open.

And it was the hope of avoiding another similar scenario that led him to surgery and a vow to return to the top level.

“I want to come back when I'm fit and ready to play, not to get into a situation like in Brisbane or New York, where I'm unsure when I turn up at a tournament how fit I am,” he added.

“I'm not finished playing tennis yet. I'm going to be competing at the highest level again.

“I'm very optimistic about the future - the surgeon is very happy about how it went.”

There had been speculation surrounding the specific injury Murray had been struggling with, as many suspected it to be a tear of the labrum – cartilage that surrounds the hip socket – or potentially arthritis than could have required a hip replacement.

He was operated on by Dr John O’Donnell, a hip specialist he has consulted since 2008 when his right hip first became an issue, at Melbourne’s St Vincent Hospital.

And while the injury has still not been clarified and there are no details of the exact surgery he underwent, Murray is confident of a positive outcome and hopes to be playing again in time for the 2018 grass court season.

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“The surgeon felt that my hip will be feeling better than it did a year ago,” he added. “Obviously, I was still doing fine a year ago - I was ranked number one in the world.

“I'm certainly not going to be putting in the same amount of tournaments and effort to try to get to number one in the world.

“I'll be playing a reduced schedule, and then focusing more on trying to win major events and big tournaments rather than trying to achieve certain ranking goals.

“I've been fairly competitive with top-50 players in the world in Brisbane when I'm struggling to move, and I made the quarter-finals at Wimbledon when I literally couldn't walk and was in so much pain.

“So if I can get myself to 95 per cent of my best, I believe that's enough to compete at the highest level. No question.

“The rest of my body feels fantastic. I feel really, really good physically apart from this one issue. The surgery allows me to extend my hip well, and I'll be able to sprint.”

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