Andy Murray insists he has no regrets about his long battle to regain fitness despite admitting he is still unsure how his troublesome hip will hold up.
The former world No 1 is in Australia preparing to start the new season at the Brisbane International having managed just six tournaments in 2018.
It was in Brisbane 12 months ago where Murray finally accepted he would have to undergo surgery after trying for six months to overcome a problem that first surfaced in the summer of 2017.
On arriving in Australia, he told local newspaper the Courier Mail that he still had pain in his hip and his comment that it was “a bit better” than last year hardly inspired confidence.
The suspicion remains that this condition will shorten his career, and Murray is unsure whether he will be able to achieve his remaining targets on court. He said: “I owe it to myself to give myself a chance to get back to the level that I’m happy competing at.
“I want to go out on my own terms. If I (had) stopped six months ago or not given the hip time to recover, I may look back and regret that decision.
I want to go out on my own terms. If I (had) stopped six months ago or not given the hip time to recover, I may look back and regret that decision.Andy Murray
“As I’ve gotten older, and with the last 12 months, I can’t believe how quickly things can change. When I first had issues with the hip I was No 1 in the world and 12 months later I was struggling. I thought I had time on my side.
“There’s nothing I’d rather do more than stay out on tour. I love the practice, the competition, the locker room. I want to play as long as I can. There are still things I want to achieve. Whether I am capable of doing that or not, we’ll see.”
Murray is likely to play a lighter schedule than in previous years, with recovery a top priority.
He has spent several periods during the last six months in Philadelphia working with reconditioning specialist Bill Knowles, who also travelled to the Scot’s training camp in Miami.
The 31-year-old, who is currently ranked down at 256, said: “I have to be smart with how I train and manage (the hip) as best I can. This time I’m trying to enjoy myself.”
British No 1s Kyle Edmund and Johanna Konta also begin their seasons in Brisbane.