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Andy Murray to make singles return in Cincinnati

Andy Murray to make singles return in Cincinnati
© Reuters
Murray has taken a wild card into the Masters event.

Andy Murray will make his singles return next week at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati.

The news, which was announced by the Scot on his Facebook page, comes seven months after his tearful revelation in Australia that his career could be over and just over six months on from his second hip operation.

Murray began his comeback in June by playing doubles in the Fever-Tree Championships at Queen’s Club and has continued to compete in the less demanding format, most recently in this week’s Rogers Cup in Canada.

That feeling when you accept a wildcard for the singles in Cinci… #LetsDoThis #HereWeGo

Posted by Andy Murray on Friday, August 9, 2019

The former world number one posted a picture of himself clenching his fist in trademark fashion, accompanied by the message: “That feeling when you accept a wildcard for the singles in Cinci…”

Murray has been combining competing in doubles with training for singles and revealed ahead of last week’s tournament in Washington that he was targeting Cincinnati.

That came as a surprise given he had been a lot more cautious following his efforts in men’s doubles and mixed doubles at Wimbledon, saying a singles return could take several more months.

Playing in Cincinnati could well be a precursor to Murray making his grand slam singles return at the US Open starting on August 26, although the 32-year-old may be wary of competing over best-of-five sets so soon.

Simply by playing in Cincinnati, Murray will be treading new ground by becoming the first player to return to the singles game following a hip resurfacing operation.

Doubles star Bob Bryan has made a successful return from the same surgery – which involves coating the joint in metal and inserting a steel rod into the femur – and his progress gave Murray hope that he could complete his own remarkable comeback.

Murray has been pain free since returning to the court and has spoken at length about the transformation in his life afforded by the operation.

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Rafael Nadal could be Andy Murray’s opponent in Cincinnati (PA)

The Scot had previously been unable to do simple things such as put his socks and shoes on or walk his dogs without severe discomfort having first begun to experience serious hip problems in the summer of 2017.

He first went under the knife last January and made a comeback last summer but he was still in obvious pain and an acceptance that the situation would not improve without more surgery led to his emotional press conference ahead of the Australian Open.

Murray knew the resurfacing operation offered no guarantee that he would be able to play top-level tennis again but he has so far experienced no setbacks.

He has chosen one of the strongest tournaments on the ATP Tour for his comeback and will play Richard Gasquet in the first round.

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