Murray is planning to play less to prolong his career

Former world number one Andy Murray says he doesn’t mind if he is playing at “30 in the world level” as he prepares to return from six months out.

The 30-year-old Briton’s ranking has dropped to 16th in the world having out since July with a hip injury.

Murray is set to make his return at the Brisbane International as he prepares for the Australian Open in January.

“Right now the hip is the only thing that is any concern. The rest of my body feels really good,” he said.

“I just want to enjoy playing again. I’ve really missed it the last six months or so.”

Murray lost a one-set exhibition match against Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut in Abu Dhabi on Friday prior to heading to Australia.

He has a first-round bye at the Brisbane International and has been drawn to play Ryan Harrison or Leonardo Mayer in the second round at a tournament intended to act as part of his warm-up for the Australian Open, which begins on 15 January.

Many of the leading men’s players have been affected by injuries recently, with Rafael Nadal, 31, missing the Brisbane tournament with a knee issue while Novak Djokovic, 30, withdrew from the Qatar Open because of the elbow problem that has kept him out since Wimbledon.

Murray says he intends to take more breaks from the ATP Tour as he gets older in a bid to avoid further injury.

“Certainly, when you miss a period, you realise how lucky you are to be doing this as a job,” he added.

“Giving yourself breaks, especially as you start to get older, I think, is very important and something that I’ll certainly be looking to do for however long I keep playing.

“For tennis as a sport, it’s not good when so many of the top players are injured and for extended periods.

“I certainly think it’s something that should be looked at and to understand why, what the reason for that is.”

Follow tennis with the BBC
Alerts: Tennis news sent to your phone
My Sport: Sign up to follow tennis news
Source link