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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 20 January 2019

'I am trying to enjoy it as much as I can': Andy Murray makes winning return in Brisbane after hip injury

The 31-year-old Scot beat local favourite James Duckworth 6-3, 6-4at the Brisbane International

Andy Murray in action during his first-round match against James Duckworth at the Brisbane International. EPA
Andy Murray in action during his first-round match against James Duckworth at the Brisbane International. EPA

Former world No 1 Andy Murray made a successful return to competitive tennis on Tuesday with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over local favourite James Duckworth at the Brisbane International.

The 31-year-old Scot ended his season early last year after suffering pain in his hip following surgery earlier in 2018 that ruled him out of three of the four grand slam events.

Murray, whose ranking has dropped to 240 and was unseeded in Brisbane, had earlier said he was still feeling pain in his hip but was in a "better place" than he was 12 months ago.

"I was a bit nervous. But as the match went on I thought I moved well," Murray told reporters after his 10th successive win in Brisbane, having won the tournament at both his previous appearances in 2012 and 2013.

"It's my first match after a big break. It's not easy to sum up [but] it's been really hard the last 18 months, been a lot of ups and downs trying to get back on court.

"Being back now I am trying to enjoy it as much as I can, for as long as I can because I am not sure how much longer I have got."

Murray returned to the court last June and played just 12 complete matches last year.

As an unseeded player in Brisbane he has a tough draw, with a second-round clash with Russian fourth seed Daniil Medvedev.

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Juan Martin del Potro will miss next month's Australian Open as he continues to recover from a kneecap fracture he suffered during a fall at the Shanghai Masters in October, the world No 5 has confirmed.

"Recovery is going great and I will tell you later where I will be making my comeback," he said on Twitter.

"Unfortunately it won't happen in Australia, I’ll miss you @AustralianOpen, but I'm happy with my progress."

Injuries are nothing new for the 30-year-old Argentine, who has been sidelined by wrist injuries that have required numerous surgeries throughout his career.

The hard-hitting del Potro was healthy for most of 2018 and had a career resurgence, winning the title at Indian Wells in March before reaching the US Open final in September.

Updated: January 1, 2019 11:41 AM

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