Former world No1 Roger Federer has urged Sir Andy Murray not to rush his comeback from injury if he has designs on adding to his haul of three grand slam crowns.
A hip injury has sidelined Murray from competitive action since his defeat to American Sam Querrey at Wimbledon, although he did play Federer as part of a charity event in Glasgow on Tuesday.
Murray, who will miss next week’s ATP World Tour Finals in London, has said he hopes to return to the circuit at the Brisbane International in January, although Federer has a word of caution for the two-time Wimbledon champion.
Federer, who has secured 17 grand slam titles during his career, had a six-month break during 2016 as he recovered from knee surgery, before winning two grand slams in 2017 and his first since 2012.
“My big advice is just to get healthy again. Take your time, however long it takes,” said Federer. “When you come back you want to be at 100 per cent, otherwise you will feel like you can’t beat the best or win the big tournaments.
“It’s wise and worthwhile to take the extra week or month, whatever that may be because I’m sure Andy will have a lot of years left. There shouldn’t be a hurry but as a professional athlete you always want to come back as quick as possible.
“You need to have goals and sometimes they need to be postponed, but it’s nice to see him back on court.”
Murray, who has slipped to No16 in the world rankings, is set to travel to Miami later this year for his regular off-season training before the potential return in Brisbane and the Australian Open, which gets underway on 15 January.
“I am in a significantly better place than at the end of Wimbledon and in the build up to the US Open,” said Murray. “I probably made a mistake trying to get ready for the US Open but it was the last Major of the year and I wanted to give it a go.
“When I get back on the court again my best form might not come immediately but there’s nothing that’s making me think I can’t find it. I’ll come back when I’m ready and 100 per cent. I believe I will get back to that.”
Murray has admitted to adopting a different focus following the second lengthy injury break of his career. The 30-year-old underwent back surgery in 2013 which sidelined him for several months.
“I just want to play tennis again. It’s my life and my job, and that’s my goal just now,” added the Scot. “Last year, I played a lot of tennis, especially at the end of the year. My goals have changed now.
“When you’re fit and healthy, you want to win every tournament and get to No1 in the world. When you’re not playing, I miss playing tennis. I just love to be back on a match court and competing again.”