Murray planning lighter 2018 schedule

As he prepares to make his competitive return from a hip injury, Andy Murray says he will have a lighter 2018 schedule to protect his body.

Former world number one Andy Murray.   -  Getty Images

Andy Murray will follow the lead set by Roger Federer in 2017 and have a lighter schedule this year to enable him to be competitive.

Murray missed the second half of last season due to a hip injury he picked up at Wimbledon, the former world number one needing surgery to help fix the issue.

That forced Murray to miss the US Open and the ATP World Tour Finals in London, and it continues to hamper him as the new campaign gets underway.

Murray will make his competitive return at the Brisbane International against Ryan Harrison this week, but rather than play week-in, week-out, the Briton will be selective with his appearances on tour.

"I'll probably make some changes to my schedule this year," Murray said.

"I'll certainly play less than I have in the past to give my body time to rest and recover.

"I would want to play as long as I could physically do it, and most of the players would feel the same way.

"Giving yourself breaks, especially as you get older, is very important and something that I'll certainly be looking to do."

Murray's on-court comeback came at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in an exhibition match with Roberto Bautista-Agut, but he looked rusty throughout the one-set showpiece.

He admits his injured hip is still a concern but says it is currently giving him fewer worries than it did during his run to the quarter-finals at SW19.

Murray added: "My hip feels way better than it did at Wimbledon.

"At Wimbledon, I almost made the semi-finals. So if it's better than that, then that's positive.

"But playing the matches and getting used to that intensity again and how you recover from a match is what is important. And I'm hoping I'm going to be okay, but you never know for sure until you go through it."

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