EASTBOURNE, England (Reuters) - Andy Murray will not rush a decision about whether or not to play at Wimbledon after winning his first match for 350 days at the Eastbourne championships on Monday.
The 31-year-old returned last week at Queen’s Club after almost a year out with a hip complaint that required surgery in January — losing to Nick Kyrgios.
After taking a wildcard at Eastbourne to test his fitness he enjoyed a 6-1 6-3 victory over fellow three-times Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka in the first round.
It was hard to tell Murray was playing only his second match back, such was the level of tennis he produced.
But the Scot said it was still too early to make a call on whether was ready for the rigours of a two-week Grand Slam with best-of-five-set matches.
“I’ll decide when I’m ready. I’m not putting any pressure on myself to make that decision after one match here or two matches, because I don’t need to,” Murray, Wimbledon champion in 2013 and 2016, told reporters.
“I’m coming back from a very serious injury which is not easy. My health and my body are number one priority, and I will make that decision when I’m ready.
“If I feel like I’m in good enough shape, I’ll do it. And if I don’t, then obviously I won’t play. But the last two matches that I have played have been positive in many respects.”
His win over Wawrinka, who has slipped outside the top 200 compared to Murray’s 156 after missing six months last year and several weeks this year because of knee surgery, took little more than an hour compared to the more than two and half hours he was on court against Kyrgios at Queen’s.
After that defeat Murray sounded rather downbeat about his Wimbledon prospects and he admitted his body had reacted badly.
“That obviously could have gone another couple of sets potentially, and I didn’t feel great the following day,” Murray said. “But then I did recover in probably let’s say 36, 40 hours. Recovered quite well.
“But that was after playing a three-set match.”
Murray will face a sterner test of his form and fitness on Wednesday against a battle-ready Kyle Edmund - the man who has replaced him as Britain’s number one.
Victory would mean playing the following day, something Murray said might have been beyond him at Queen’s.
“For me it’s another step in my recovery,” he said. “It’s a really good test for me. I would have played, in the space of a week, ten days, three excellent players.
“If I was to win on Wednesday and have to play on Thursday, that’s a different challenge, as well.”
Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Ed Osmond