It must say something about the medical system in Great Britain that Andy Murray chose to have hip surgery in Melbourne, rather than England.
Murray has been out of action since last year’s Wimbledon Championships. The injury appeared serious and there was some justified speculation that Murray might never play another round of competitive professional tennis.
He attempted to rehab his right hip without surgery, but when he tried to take the court at the Brisbane International ahead of the Australian Open in January, it quickly became apparent to him that this was not the sort of injury that would respond to rest, ice, ibuprofen, compression and elevation.
Murray seems to be optimistic about getting back on the court for grass court season, beginning in June, perhaps sooner, but his participation in the 2018 French Open in Paris seems doubtful and it is equally doubtful that he would want to test his fitness playing the extended rallies that are typical of clay court tennis.
Queen’s, the traditional tune-up for Wimbledon, starts on June 18 this year. ATP grass tournaments in Germany and Holland, along with lower-tier British tournaments, are also possibilities.
Murray has been working on the other parts of his body in the gym and doing Pilates sessions. He could be back on the court, hitting balls by the end of March, but he plans to seek sunny, warm climes to set up a training camp.
Murray at top form for Wimbledon might be the only thing standing between Roger Federer and a calendar grand slam, although Federer does not seem willing to invest much in playing the clay court circuit ahead of the French Open.
The other top men, namely Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, face comeback efforts of their own if there is to be any hope of slowing down the Federer juggernaut.
Then again, maybe the enigmatic Nick Kyrgios could rise up to toss a spanner in the works.