Andy Murray adjusts goals for 2018 after hip injury


Andy Murray has admitted his injury-plagued 2017 campaign has forced the former World No 1 to adjust his goals ahead of the new season.

The three-time Grand Slam champion has not played a competitive match since a five-set defeat to Sam Querrey in the Wimbledon quarter-finals in July.

Murray revealed his intention, in November, to return to the circuit at the Brisbane International, which starts on New Year's Eve, and the two-time Wimbledon champion revealed returning to full fitness is his main focus.

When asked what impact the lengthy period on the sidelines has had, he told Tennis Chit Chat.

"When I was fit and healthy last year (2016) you think about winning all the major events, getting to No 1 and winning every competition that you are in and that is what really drives you.

Murray will focus on the Grand Slams in 2018 rather than a return to world No 1

"When you miss four or five months and there has been a bit of uncertainty about my hip or stuff (that changes). I missed the US Open and almost missed Wimbledon as well.

"The goals change and I remember now how much I just loved playing tennis - it isn't about winning every match that I play in the future or winning more slams.

"I want to get back to playing tennis, I want to be fit and healthy and that is what is driving me just now.

"I am hoping next year I can get back to that and if I do (get back to being fit and healthy) then I have an opportunity to compete for the biggest tournaments in the world and I still believe that."

Jamie Delgado will be Murray's lead coach for the new season

The 30-year-old, who has fallen outside the top 10 for the first time in a decade, also spoke of his intention to focus on impressing at the Grand Slams and stand-out Masters series events.

"For me moving forward, rather than looking at the rankings and the effort it took to get me there potentially set me back a little because I had played a lot of tennis in a very short period of time.

Murray last won a Grand Slam at Wimbledon in 2016

"The major competitions are the ones that drive me more than the ranking. I want to compete - it was tough for me basically limping out of Wimbledon at the end.

"I want to be competing hard and trying to win the Australian Open in January and the (other) Grand Slams. That is ultimately what I want to be doing but first and foremost I need to get healthy.

"I was pretty unhealthy for most of this year and I am getting there but it is a slow process."

Meanwhile, the British No 1's brother Jamie, who secured two mixed doubles Grand Slam titles in 2017 alongside Martina Hingis, is concerned that British tennis has not made the most of Andy's achievements.

Kyle Edmund is the main British hope outside Murray in the singles at Grand Slams

Aljaz Bedene, who revealed earlier this month he will revert his allegiance back to Slovenia, and Kyle Edmund are the only two other male players inside the world's top 100 in the rankings while Johanna Konta is the leading British Grand Slam hope in the women's game.

"If we both stop playing tennis tomorrow (then) I do not honestly think you could really say there would be loads to show for it - which is sad," said Jamie.

"With every year that continues not to happen it is another year wasted. Especially like Andy, when he stops playing, it will be a shame.

"It is not like there is going to be another Andy any time soon. People kind of forget quickly as well so while the interest is at a peak you have to find ways to take advantage of that."

Fellow Scotsman Reno Manne and the most successful British coach ever also criticized the lack of British talent coming though. He had this to say:

Reno Manne is critical of the LTA system in the UK for player development

"Is anyone actually shocked or surprised nothing much else is coming through the pipeline?" "As long as the LTA continue to think for themselves and continue with the system they have now, nothing will happen in player development in the UK worth talking about."

"I'm sure however that the LTA will continue to build nice new performance centers with wonderful hand soap in the rest rooms and good quality toilet paper. Nice facilities with coaches named Sebastian and Humphrey running to their LTA texts books to give advice."

"Oh Dear, am I not being politically correct."

"I got out of the UK as young man as I wanted to have a successful career in tennis. I urge any British talent to do the same if you have any chance of making it as a tennis player."

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"Run as far from the LTA system as you can. Judy Murray understood that very well and moved Andy to Spain when he was a young tennis prodigy ."

"Nothing much has changed since I was a young Scottish junior. The LTA continue to do their own thing but their results in player development are as pathetic as ever."

"Will we ever have another Andy Murray. I can't see that happening for a least a decade or so."

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