LONDON • Andy Murray, his spirits lifted after winning the doubles title at Queen's Club on Sunday, will return to Wimbledon next week with a spring in his step that has been missing since he last played there two years ago - and he says there is a chance he will play singles at the US Open in September.
After he and Feliciano Lopez defeated Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram 7-6 (8-6), 5-7, 10-5 to win the doubles final, the Scot said: "If it happens in September or next year or in six weeks, I really don't mind.
"I'm happy with playing tennis and training and having no pain any more. If I keep progressing, I would like to try to play singles.
"I have a couple of options after Wimbledon: either I continue with doubles but start training and practising singles through the US Open swing, and then try and maybe play singles after that.
"Or I take a longer break post-Wimbledon of maybe, let's say, a month or six weeks to get myself ready for singles and then try and play close to the US Open.
"I guess those would be the two options. I don't anticipate it would be much longer than that. My schedule could potentially be a bit different. I might not play three weeks in a row or two weeks back to back, for example. But I'm just quite happy doing what I'm doing, taking each week as it comes."
Murray, who had his hip operated on in January and now plays with a metal insert, was alert, strong and confident. Transferring to singles, though, will be complicated.
I mean, look, this is very different for me, and it's more special than a lot of the singles tournaments that I have won for a lot of different reasons. Like, I just won the doubles here with Feli, you know, with a metal hip. It's mental, really.
ANDY MURRAY, on a first doubles competition win since hip surgery in January.
He lost in five sets against Roberto Bautista Agut in the first round of the Australian Open, and broke down in tears, appearing resigned to quitting the sport.
However, things are looking up for him now and he added that his doubles title was "more special" than many of his singles triumphs.
The 32-year-old has won 45 titles, including three Grand Slams, finished 2016 as world No. 1 and is the only man to have retained the Olympic singles gold.
"I mean, look, this is very different for me, and it's more special than a lot of the singles tournaments that I have won for a lot of different reasons," he said.
"Like, I just won the doubles here with Feli, you know, with a metal hip. It's mental, really. That's a cool thing to be able to have done, just because of probably where I was a few months ago. And at times, even as far as just two months ago.
"I just wasn't thinking about this. I was just really, really happy just to be pain-free and enjoying life, literally just doing normal things. So it's really special."
Murray clearly revelled in being back on court and produced some stunning returns alongside Lopez who co-starred after earlier winning the singles title Murray has won five times.
His movement looked free and he even ran down several drop shots.
Lopez, 37, was clearly impressed.
"I don't know how much he can still progress," he said.
"I hope that he's going to be playing singles soon. But this is up to him and his team that they have to make a decision on when it's going to be the right time.
"But I'm sure that if he keeps progressing the way he's doing right now, we're gonna see him playing singles again."
THE GUARDIAN, REUTERS