January 1, 2018 / 3:34 PM / 5 months ago

Murray will trim 2018 schedule to avoid injury issues

(Reuters) - Former world number one Andy Murray plans to trim his schedule in the new season to prevent a recurrence of the injuries that blighted his campaign in 2017.

FILE PHOTO: Tennis - ATP World Tour Finals Preview - The O2 Arena, London, Britain - November 11, 2017 Great Britain's Andy Murray during practice Action Images via Reuters/Tony O'Brien

Murray, who has struggled with a persistent hip injury since a quarter-final exit at Wimbledon in July last year, pulled out of the U.S. Open and dropped to 16th in the world rankings.

“I’ll probably make some changes to my schedule this year,” Murray, who will participate in the Brisbane International, told reporters. “I’ll certainly play less than I have in the past to give my body time to rest and recover.

“I would want to play as long as I could physically do it, and most of the players would feel the same way... giving yourself breaks, especially as you get older, is very important and something that I’ll certainly be looking to do.”

Murray returned to action in an exhibition match against Roberto Bautista Agut last Friday and is confident his hip has healed sufficiently to allow him to compete at the top level.

“My hip feels way better than it did at Wimbledon,” he said. “At Wimbledon, I almost made the semi-finals... So if it’s better than that, then that’s positive.

“But playing the matches and getting used to that intensity again and how you recover from a match is what is important. And I’m hoping I’m going to be okay, but you never know for sure until you go through it.”

Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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