Andy Murray

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Andy Murray hopes to return to singles this year

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LONDON (AP) — Andy Murray says he is playing tennis “pretty much pain-free” and is hoping to compete in singles “at some stage this year.”

The three-time Grand Slam champion says he doesn’t want to put a time frame on when his return to singles would be.

Murray says he is “quite happy just now so I don’t need to play singles after Wimbledon or at the U.S. Open. If I can, that would be brilliant, but I don’t think that’s going to be the case. I think it’s going to take a bit longer.”

Murray underwent hip surgery in January, soon after a tearful news conference at the Australian Open when he said the tournament could be his last after almost two years of injury problems.

The British player is competing in the doubles with Feliciano Lopez at the Queen’s Club grass-court event next week. He then plans to play doubles at Wimbledon.

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Andy Murray signals career resumption rather than retirement

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Andy Murray will indeed play competitive tennis again. Murray intends to play doubles at June’s Queen’s Club Championships, the Wimbledon tune-up tournament confirmed Monday.

“I’m not yet ready to return to the singles court, but I’ve been pain-free for a few months now,” Murray said in a statement. “I’ve made good progress in training and on the practice court, and this is the next step for me as I try to return to the tour.”

It has been reported that Murray’s doubles partner will be Spaniard Feliciano Lopez.

Before the Australian Open in January, where he lost in the first round, Murray said that he planned to retire at some point in 2019 due to hip problems — and that it was possible that Grand Slam tournament might be the final event of his career.

In early March, Murray said he was pain-free after hip surgery but likely wouldn’t play at Wimbledon. Murray told the BBC then that he wanted to continue playing, but the surgeons “couldn’t give me any guarantees.”

The three-time Grand Slam champion said, “I don’t feel any pressure to come back. If it allows me to play that’s brilliant.”

Murray had an operation to repair his damaged right hip with a metal implant. The 31-year-old said he was without pain for the first time in 18 months but could not do “any high-impact movement.” Murray was seen hitting a serve on a grass court in a video on his Instagram on Saturday.

Murray, who has two daughters, said, “having the surgery was to improve all the day-to-day things and my quality of life.”

Queen’s starts two weeks before the start of Wimbledon.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Andy Murray plans to retire this season

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Andy Murray said he hopes to retire this season after Wimbledon, but acknowledged he might not make it to that point.

Murray, 31, spoke through tears at a press conference in the lead-up to the Australian Open, citing a painful hip injury that is “not allowing me to enjoy any of the stuff that I love about tennis.”

“I can still play to a level, [but] not a level I’m happy playing at,” he said. “The pain is too much.”

Murray said he had been dealing with a hip injury for years but the pain has worsened in the last 20 months, making day-to-day tasks, like walking and putting on socks, uncomfortable. “I spoke to my team and I told them that I can’t keep doing this,” he said. “I said to my team, ‘I think I can get through this till Wimbledon. That’s where I’d like to stop playing. But I’m also not certain I’m able to do that.”

When asked if the Australian Open could be his last tournament, Murray paused to gather his thoughts and said, “I think there’s a chance of that.”

Murray is a three-time Grand Slam winner and the only player to win two straight singles titles at the Olympics. In his first Grand Slam title, at the 2012 US Open, Murray beat Novak Djokovic in the final to become the first British man to win a major since Fred Perry at the 1936 US Open. He reached another milestone with his second Grand Slam title at 2013 Wimbledon, topping Djokovic to become the first British man to win the tournament in 77 years. He won a second Wimbledon title in 2016. He has also been outspoken about gender issues in sports, advocating for equal prize money and more women’s matches on centre court at Wimbledon. In 2014, Murray hired Amelie Mauresmo as his coach. He wrote in a 2015 column published by French sports paper L’Equipe, “Have I become a feminist? Well, if being a feminist is about fighting so that a woman is treated like a man then yes, I suppose I have.”