Andy Murray moves nearer to singles return after Citi Open stint with brother Jamie

The Murray brothers bowed out of the Citi Open in Washington after losing to Michael Venus and Raven Klassen in three sets and Andy now moves closer to a singles return after six months.

Andy Murray celebrates a shot while playing with his brother Jamie during their doubles match against Raven Klaasen and Michael Venus at the Citi Open.   -  Getty Images

Three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray moved closer to a singles return six months after right hip surgery.

Britain’s Andy and his brother Jamie, in their first doubles event since the 2016 Rio Olympics, lost to New Zealand’s Michael Venus and South African Raven Klaasen 6-7 (3/7), 7-6 (8/6), 10-7 in a quarterfinal match at the Citi Open in Washington.

Murray has practiced singles this week to improve his conditioning after the long layoff.

READ| WTA Roundup: Giorgi cruises into semifinals in Washington; Sakkari stuns Svitolina in San Jose

“I feel fine,” Murray said. “Practice has been fine. No issues physically. So progressing well. Just keep practicing the next 10 days or so and see what happens.”

Murray, who feared his career might be over after the January operation, hasn’t played singles since the Australian Open but says he might return at the ATP Cincinnati Masters starting August 12.

“If I feel like I’m ready, I’ll give it a go. If not, I’ll wait probably until after New York. But so far it has been fine."

Murray, set to play doubles next week at Montreal alongside Spaniard Feliciano Lopez, doesn’t want his first singles matches back to be the best-of-five-set variety offered in Grand Slams. He ruled out playing in Winston-Salem the week before New York, figuring he would be better off practicing for a post-US Open return.

“I’ve never competed the week before a Slam,” Murray said. “If I’m not ready five or six days beforehand, I’m assuming that I’ll probably just give it a miss.”

The 32-year-old Scotsman, a former world number one now ranked 222nd, had captured Grand Slam singles crowns at the 2012 US Open and at Wimbledon in 2013 and 2016.