Andy Murray, former world number one, will make his long-awaited comeback from injury at the pre-Wimbledon grass tournament in west London.
Murray is a record five-time champion at The Queen’s Club, but he has not played a competitive match since 12 July last year due to a hip injury he sustained at Wimbledon and subsequent surgery.
He took part in two practice sessions on the grass at Queen’s on Friday afternoon. There was then an interminable wait for news before he eventually confirmed his participation at the Fever-Tree Championships which starts on Monday 18 June half an hour before the draw ceremony.
Murray then expressed his excitement and uncertainty as he gets ready to make his eagerly anticipated return.
“I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “There are a lot of doubts though as well when you’ve not played for a long time. Coming back from injury you’re always kind of second guessing yourself. You never know exactly when you’re going to be ready, but I’m looking forward to getting back out there and competing, and hopefully playing well.
“I’ve obviously got lots of great memories from here, from winning the tournament to playing here the first time when I was 18. I’m sure I’ll have the same nerves and stuff as I did all those years ago. Having missed eleven months, coming back I’m expecting to be very nervous when I go back out there. But it’s a cool place to come back to.”
Murray also explained how he took the last-minute decision to participate: “I’ve been practising the last couple of weeks and obviously building up each day. I started playing sets about a week ago. So, I played probably seven or eight sets, and I wanted to feel how I felt the following day after playing a couple of sets with Cam Norrie yesterday.
“I got tested by my physios this morning to make sure I hadn’t stiffened up and lost any range of motion in my hip which can happen when you’re tired and the hip’s a bit angry. That wasn’t the case. That was all positive and I pulled up pretty well from that, so then I decided to go for it.”
Andy Murray is back!
— Fever-Tree Championships (@QueensTennis) 16 June 2018
Murray will have a tough task ahead of him after he was drawn to play Australian enfant terrible Nick Kyrgios in an eye-catching first-round match on Tuesday. While Murray owns a 5-0 head-to-head record against hot-tempered Kyrgios, he knows it will be a tough challenge.
“He obviously plays extremely well on the grass. He’s always a tough guy to play against. He’s got a brilliant serve and obviously he’s very, very talented. He’s unpredictable as well. The positive is that there probably won’t be loads of long points. Points can be quite sharp with him, which is good, but obviously a very tricky match with the way that he plays and how comfortable he is on the grass.”