Andy Murray targets return to singles action but insists 'it's baby steps just now'

Former world No 1 will step up his return from hip surgery when he competes in the doubles at Queen's Club next week

FILE - In this Aug. 27, 2018, file photo, Andy Murray, of Britain, returns a shot to James Duckworth, of Australia, during the first round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York. Three-time major champion Murray is planning to return from hip surgery by competing in doubles at the Queen's Club tournament this month. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki, File)
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Former world No 1 Andy Murray has said he is hopeful of returning to singles tennis some time this year, as he continues recovery from a career-threatening hip injury.

Murray will step up his bid to return from the surgery he underwent in January when he competes in the doubles with Feliciano Lopez at the Fever-Tree Championships at Queen's Club next week.

The 32-year-old Scot then plans to play doubles at Wimbledon, the scene of two of his three singles grand slam titles.

However, Murray still plans to take his time before returning to singles action, which probably rules out competing at the US Open at the end of August.

"It's baby steps just now," said the Scot. "I'm feeling good, pretty much pain free and enjoying kind of just training, practicing, improving all the time just now.

"I don't think when Wimbledon finishes that I will just step onto the singles court the following week and everything's good. I still have quite a lot of work to do before I'm at a level where I feel like I'll be able to be competitive.

"At this moment, I've been progressing all of the time, at some stage it's probably going to plateau for a while before I'm able to kick on.

"I hope at some stage this year I would be able to get back to playing singles again.

"When that is, I'm not really interested in putting a time limit on because I'm quite happy just now so I don't need to play singles after Wimbledon or the at US 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 has been hitting with American Frances Tiafoe but has still not fully tested his recovery with any singles practice matches.

"I've not played any singles practise sets," he added. "I practised with Tiafoe last week and at Wimbledon, and I have done some singles training drills with my coach.

"Earlier on I was hitting with singles players but I was more stationary. I was moving them rather than them moving me about.

"So, I have not played proper singles-wise yet. I am hoping that will come more after Wimbledon."