An exhibition before 14,000 adoring compatriots is not a bad place to start, when you’re looking to define the state of a balky hip after four months off court,
And so, even though Andy Murray lost in a match tiebreak to the visiting Roger Federer Tuesday in Glasgow, it was a win-win.
Murray’s charities got a healthy boost to their bottom line. And the Scot was able to put it out there against one of the best.
He was rather pleased with how his form held up.
“It was a bit better than expected. I was pretty nervous before and I didn’t know exactly how I was going to feel. But I did okay,” Murray said on court after the match. “The hip felt pretty good – not perfect yet – but it’s going in the right direction. I’ve got eight more weeks until the first tournament of the year, hopefully I’ll be ready to go by then.”
Careful start against Federer
Murray began a little gingerly, letting a few potentially reachable shots go by in the early going. But by the end he was chasing down whatever he could.
As ornery and disheveled as Murray can sometimes look on court at the best of times, it was hard to discern a difference with the naked eye, in terms of whether or not anything was bothering him.
And, of course, it’s hard to tell how much is the body, and how much is simply the lack of matches since Wimbledon.
There’s little doubt Federer took his foot off the gas pedal a little after winning the first set. It was an exhibition, and Federer always knows exactly what city he’s in even if the hotel suites start to look astoundingly alike after awhile.
Before the exhibition (Murray and brother Jamie also came out to play doubles after the singles), Murray seemed a little more hesitant on the current state of things.
Murray not rushing it this time
He said that, in retrospect, doing everything he could to try to be fit for the US Open in late August was probably a bad call.
“I hope I’m there, things have been going pretty well so far in the rehab,” Murray told reporters in Glasgow, as reported in the Daily Mail, about starting the season as planned in Brisbane. “But you just never know … I’ve been training for a few weeks now, some days I’ve felt great, some days not so good but I’m getting there and I’ll come back when I’m ready and 100 per cent fit.”
Murray said that over the last 10 days, he had upped his on-court time to 1 1/2 – 2 hours a day – most days. But it was not at full intensity. He said he also is taking advantage of the unwanted down time to “work on a few technical things”.
The Scot’s hip may be the most-watched body part in British sport at the moment. It’s impressive that he’s been able to keep a very low profile in recent months. Which shows that if there’s a will, there often is a way.
Europort streamed a 360 version on its Facebook page.
The technology isn’t what it soon will be, but it was a neat initiative nonetheless.