At Queen’s Club, Andy Murray Feeling Relaxed Ahead of Return to Tennis to Play Doubles with Feliciano Lopez
(June 17, 2019) Before the Australian Open, the former No. 1 and three-time major winner Andy Murray was tearful during a news conference, unsure if he’d ever play competitive tennis again, admitting that he’d been dealing with hip pain for the last two years. The 32-year-old has since had surgery and will test out his right hip when he takes the doubles court at the Fever-Tree Championships Queen’s Club in London this week with Feliciano Lopez of Spain.
“I can’t tell you how I’m going to feel obviously when I get back on the court,” the Scot said during a news conference. But yeah, I feel lucky, I feel pretty relaxed.
“Yeah, I mean, I didn’t expect to be in this position. I didn’t know how I was going to feel, really, if I went and had the operation. But it’s been brilliant, completely, like, life-changing for me, really, from where I was.
“Yeah, I’m looking forward to getting back out there, but I don’t know what to expect and I’m not putting any kind of expectations on myself, because just being out on the tennis court again and being comfortable and pain-free is enough, you know. I’ll enjoy competing. I have enjoyed practicing and hitting tennis balls, just doing all the things that I couldn’t do even a few months ago. So we’ll see what happens.”
“My goal is still to get back to playing singles,” said Murray. “That’s what I would like to do ultimately. And probably, I’m going to say maybe six to eight weeks ago, you know, I was just chatting with my team about, you know, kind of the best way to get back onto the court again, singles-wise, and, you know, how I would go about doing that.
“We felt that, you know, doubles would be a good option to sort of test myself out and see how I feel, where there is maybe a bit obviously less loading on the body, less movement, but you still have to make some quick moves and quick reactions and things like that.
“It felt like it was actually a nice progression, really, of the rehab I have been doing and getting back onto the court and, you know, see how I feel on a match court playing doubles. Then that will give me some information about where I’m at and maybe things I need to improve or whatever.
“So it was probably six to eight weeks ago we thought it might be a good thing to try rather than just the first time I get back on the match court it potentially being a tour-level match, which, you know, is tough.”
“I mean, there was a number of times over the last 18 months where I did want to stop,” Murray admitted. “I didn’t want to play anymore. I was getting no enjoyment out of tennis at all, whether that be training, practice, matches. Winning matches, wasn’t really bothered really either because it wasn’t fun.
“Yeah, now it’s just nice — I like playing tennis. I’m sure some of you guys like playing tennis and enjoy getting out on the court and hitting tennis balls. I’m exactly the same. Like, I’m a fan of the sport. I have played it since I was a kid. And, yeah, I want to keep playing if I can because I enjoy it.
“Yeah, it would be nice to be winning, like, Wimbledon and major tournaments and things like that, but you know, hardly anyone gets the opportunity to do that, and there’s still loads of players that still love and enjoy the sport without being able to, you know, win the biggest competitions. And I would hope that I would be able to, you know, to deal with that absolutely fine, as well, and just enjoy — I have enjoyed practicing and training doubles and getting ready for this event, although it’s different to what I’m used to. I’m fine with that. It’s not a big deal.”
Murray asked Lopez to play doubles and the Spaniard immediately said yes.
“Yeah, we have been texting, and I don’t know how the idea — I think Jamie, his coach, he texted me first, ” said Lopez. “He spoke about the possibility of playing here with Andy, and of course my answer was yes. I mean, for me, it’s a great opportunity to share the court with a great player, with a great friend, as well. Yeah, I hope it’s going to be a good week for us.
“Feli also said — I was saying I didn’t want to play with someone and we wouldn’t get in potentially, so I didn’t want to take a wildcard from maybe one of the other teams,” Murray added. “And Feli was, like, Are you crazy? We’ll get in for sure. No problem. Like, we have a combined ranking of, I don’t know, whatever it is, 53, we are in for sure.
“I was, like, No, I’ve checked. The last few years it’s been pretty close.”
“How bad is my ranking to be in the limit with a guy ranked 2 in the world?,” Lopez joked.
“Yeah, I lose so many points from the French Open because we played well last year there with Marc (Lopez), with my partner, we played semis, so we lost a lot of points. So my ranking dropped and was quite good enough to enter this tournament.”
Kevin Anderson is back on the court after rehabbing from an elbow injury. He beat Brit Cam Norrie 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-4.
“Coming back to competition is always a little bit different, but (the elbow) really held up well today in a long three-set match,” the south African said. “There are a lot of positives to take.”
Elsewhere, defending champion Marin Cilic survived a second set comeback from Chilean Christian Garin to advance to the second round 6-1, 7-6(5).
“I was pretty concerned there in the second set, twice a break up, served for the match, and just lost my focus on my serve,” Cilic explained. “He hit a couple great forehands on the run and I found myself 4-0 down in the tiebreak.”
The Croatian managed to win seven of the final eight points to win in straight sets. Cilic will face another South American, Diego Schwartzman in the second round.
RESULTS – JUNE 17, 2019
Singles – First Round
 K. Anderson (RSA) d C. Norrie (GBR) 46 76(5) 64
 D. Medvedev (RUS) d F. Verdasco (ESP) 62 64
 M. Cilic (CRO) d C. Garin (CHI) 61 76(5)
D. Schwartzman (ARG) d [Q] A. Bublik (KAZ) 62 63
[Q] N. Mahut (FRA) d F. Tiafoe (USA) 63 76(5)
G. Simon (FRA) d [Q] J. Ward (GBR) 36 63 76(2)
Doubles – First Round
 B. Bryan (USA) / M. Bryan (USA) d [WC] L. Bambridge (GBR) / J. O’Mara (GBR) 76(1) 64
ORDER OF PLAY – TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2019
CENTRE COURT start 12:00 noon
 S. Wawrinka (SUI) vs [WC] D. Evans (GBR)
 J. del Potro (ARG) vs D. Shapovalov (CAN)
 S. Tsitsipas (GRE) vs K. Edmund (GBR)
G. Dimitrov (BUL) vs  F. Auger-Aliassime (CAN)
COURT 1 start 12:00 noon
[WC] J. Clarke (GBR) vs L. Pouille (FRA)
M. Fucsovics (HUN) vs [WC] F. Lopez (ESP)
M. Cecchinato (ITA) vs  M. Raonic (CAN)
N. Kyrgios (AUS) vs A. Mannarino (FRA)
COURT 5 start 12:00 noon
J. Chardy (FRA) vs M. Kukushkin (KAZ)
A. de Minaur (AUS) vs [Q] A. Bedene (SLO)
After suitable rest – [Q] J. Chardy (FRA) / F. Martin (FRA) vs M. Cilic (CRO) / I. Dodig (CRO)
COURT 6 start 1:00 pm
C. Garin (CHI) / D. Schwartzman (ARG) vs R. Ram (USA) / J. Salisbury (GBR)