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Murray getting closer to competitive return

Andy Murray says he Credit: PA

Andy Murray says he "getting closer" to a playing return following hip surgery.

The Scot has not played competitively since last year's Wimbledon, undergoing surgery at the turn of the year in a bid to cure his injury woes.

With Wimbledon fast approaching, Murray says he has returned to training and playing in the grass court season remains his aim.

Speaking in a video on the Guardian's website, he said: "It's been very slow, I've been out getting close to a year now which is a lot longer than I expected at the beginning.

"I'm getting closer to playing again, I've started training a few days ago, hoping to make my comeback during the grass court season."

Murray set to return to ATP Tour action in June

Andy Murray has not competed due to injury since Wimbledon last year. Credit: PA

Andy Murray is set to return to ATP Tour action at the Libema Open in the Netherlands in June.

The grass-court tournament takes place from June 11-17, the week before the Fever-Tree Championships at Queen's Club, where the former world number one had been scheduled to make his main tour comeback following hip surgery.

Murray said: "I am looking forward to getting back on the grass and to play in Rosmalen for the first time. I've heard lots of good things about the tournament and the courts are meant to be very good - it's the perfect way for me to prepare for Wimbledon."

Securing the presence of Murray, fitness permitting, is a major coup for the event, and tournament director Marcel Hunze said: "In the past years we invested heavily in the quality of the tournament and the grass courts. The participation of Wimbledon champion, and grass court specialist, Andy Murray is a great reward."

The Scot is expected to add further tournaments to his schedule soon, but an asterisk remains considering the 30-year-old has only this week returned to the court after going under the knife in Melbourne in January.

Murray has chosen the Nice academy of Serena Williams' coach Patrick Mouratoglou as his training base as he steps up his recovery from the injury that has sidelined him from competition since Wimbledon last summer.

The two-time Wimbledon champion has been practising with promising junior Aidan McHugh, who he manages via his 77 agency, and could return to tournament action in a month.

Murray will make a late decision on whether to play in the Challenger Tour event in Glasgow starting on April 30, one of two new second-tier tournaments announced by the Lawn Tennis Association this month, partly with the Scot's return in mind.

Murray could also play in Loughborough towards the end of May while, if he wants extra grass-court play, there is another Challenger in Surbiton beginning on June 4.

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Murray hoping for grass court return after hip surgery

Murray recently withdrew from the first Grand Slam tournament of the season - The Australian Open. Credit: PA

Andy Murray underwent surgery on his right hip on Monday morning and is hoping to return to competitive tennis for the 2018 grass-court season.

The 30-year-old former world number one, who has not competitively played since Wimbledon last summer and last week withdrew from this month's Australian Open, announced via his official Facebook page that he had gone under the knife in Melbourne, and vowed to return to the top.

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The now world number 19 said the two options available to fix his troublesome hip were to continue with rehab or have surgery, for which he admitted the chances of success were not as high as he would have liked.

But, after undergoing the operation in Australia, Murray's outlook was more optimistic.

"I'm very optimistic because, having spoken to the surgeon after he did the surgery, he was very happy about how it went," Murray said, quoted by several national newspapers.

"He felt that my hip will be feeling better than it did a year ago and, obviously, I was still doing fine a year ago, I was ranked number one in the world.

"Moving forward I'll certainly 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."

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