Former world No1 Andy Murray may have to adapt his game as a result of his ongoing hip problem if he is to regain his place at the top of the rankings, according to his former coach Miles Maclagan.
Murray has been blighted by an unspecified hip problem for the past six months and has not played competitively since losing in five sets to American Sam Querrey in the Wimbledon quarter-finals in July.
The 30-year-old withdrew from the Brisbane International on Tuesday and is a major doubt for the first grand slam of the year, the Australian Open, which starts on 15 January. He also confirmed he is considering surgery in a bid to correct his injury.
Murray has slipped to No16 in the global rankings as a result of his inactivity and Maclagan believes the Scot might be forced into modifying his tactics, although insists that might not be to his detriment.
“If he can get fit, it might force him to play a different sort of game, with shorter rallies,” said Maclagan, who was a member of Murray’s coaching team between 2007 and 2010. “That could be very exciting, but he’s got a tough road back.
“The characteristic of these great players is that when they’ve had a setback they often come back stronger, reinvigorated in the mind. He said he was tired, so could come back with a fresh mentality.”
Murray has said he will decide by the weekend whether to stay in Australia or fly home. Maclagan added: “It’s concerning because the first option hasn’t worked out, which was a lot of rehab.
“I know he’s put as much into it as he possibly could. There have been big advancements in medicine and there are guys like Lleyton Hewitt and Milos Raonic who had this sort of surgery and came back to a good level. But of course it’s never quite the same.”