Andy Murray believes he is now back to being capable of taking on the world's elite players after his remarkable comeback from injury in 2019.

Murray looked set to retire due to injury earlier in the year, but after undergoing successful hip surgery, crowned his return by winning the European Open in Antwerp to claim his 46th ATP Tour title.

After taking the best part of a month off, Murray will now head to the Davis Cup finals as part of Great Britain's five-man team.

The 32-year-old intends step things up further in 2020 and the three-time major winner says he would be confident of pushing Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic or Roger Federer all the way should he come up against any of the big three.

"I know if I played against the top players tomorrow there would be a very small chance of me winning that match," Murray told BBC Sport.

"But I do feel I could win. That's one of the performance goals I want - when I go out on court against all of the players I want to feel like I have a chance of winning.

"Seven or eight weeks ago I wouldn't have felt that was the case. 

"If I continued along that path then I wouldn't continue playing. It has been an up and down few years but I feel like I'm coming through the other side of it and I'm excited to see what I can do over the next couple of years.

"It's difficult to say exactly where I am. I'm not where I was when I was 25 but I don't expect to be and I don't need to be [in order] to be competitive at the highest level and that's why I'm excited.

"I'm not going to set a target of top 10 or trying to make the semis of a Grand Slam because I've done all of that before and I don't need that.

"I'm happy just being pain free, healthy and love what I'm doing."

Murray defeated Stan Wawrinka to clinch the European Open title, while the Scot overcame world number eight Matteo Berrettini on his way to the China Open quarter-finals in Beijing, where he was eventually defeated by Dominic Thiem.

Andy Murray feels grand slam events could give him the best chance of success now he has made his comeback from injury.

The three-time major winner marked his return from career-saving hip surgery by winning his 46th ATP Tour title at the European Open last month.

That emotional triumph and the way his body has been reacted to regular matches has given Murray confidence he can be competitive at the highest level.

While he has already won a regular ATP Tour event, Murray feels the slams could work in his favour even more in 2020 because of the extra recovery time they provide in between matches.

"Your body gets a chance to rest up before the next match," Murray told reporters at a Castore sponsorship event. 

"Sometimes in Antwerp where you're playing back-to-back days there was no chance to do that. 

"My physio has always been more positive about me playing grand slams than playing a tournament when you play five days in a row.

"He loves the fact that there's a day off to rest and actually recover.

"I guess I'll see how it responds when I'm over there [at the Australian Open]."

At this stage, the prospect of playing longer matches at majors is not a major concern for Murray, who also discussed his plans to have a flexible schedule going forward.

The Briton added: "I'm not worried from the hip's perspective as I've had zero issues with it so far so I don't anticipate that playing an extra 45 minutes or an hour will be bad for my hip. 

"How the rest of my body how that responds, I'll see when I'm out there.

"I think my body showed I'm going to be able to play at a high level. That's where I need to be smart with my scheduling and the amount of tournaments that I play, to be more reactive than in the past.

"Let's say I plan to play three tournaments in the first couple of months of the year but I only win one match in each of those tournaments, then I could add another. But if I end up doing really well, maybe I play a tournament less. In the past I wouldn't have done that."

While Murray, who is preparing to fly to Madrid for next week's Davis Cup finals, is optimistic about competing at the top, that is no longer his most important consideration.

Asked where he would like to be in 12 months, the 32-year-old added: "I would want to be healthy.

"It's nice to be able to win big competitions and have a high ranking and stuff. That's great but actually the reason why I'm playing is because I love it. I need to remember that and being healthy allows me to do that.

"So if I'm 30 in the world or 70 in the world and I'm still enjoying it and I feel competitive then that would be success for me. You realise what really is important." 

Kyle Edmund has been named as the fifth and final player in Great Britain's line up for the Davis Cup finals.

Having endured a poor run of form, losing eight matches on the bounce, former British number one Edmund rallied with successive victories at the Paris Masters earlier this week.

He eventually fell to world number one Novak Djokovic in the round of 16, but his displays against Ricardas Berankis and Diego Schwartzman were enough to cement his place in Leon Smith's squad for the new-look event later this month.

Andy Murray had already been named in Great Britain's team after his triumph at the European Open, alongside his brother Jamie, Neal Skupski and Dan Evans.

"I'm delighted to name Kyle as the final nominated player to our Davis Cup team," Great Britain captain Smith said of Edmund, who saw off competition from Cameron Norrie.

"While Kyle has had a tough few months, he showed at the Paris Masters what level of tennis he is capable of producing.

"It's been a difficult decision to make as Cam Norrie has had a very good year on tour and is finishing the year ranked around number 50 in the world.

"It's a strong position for our team to be in when we have such high-quality players vying for selection."

Novak Djokovic is hopeful former world number one Andy Murray can return to being a contender for the top prizes in 2020.

Murray looked set to retire after his elimination from the Australian Open but has instead staged an incredible comeback from hip surgery over the course of the season.

His remarkable return reached new heights with the defeat of Stan Wawrinka in the European Open final this month, earning him a first ATP Tour trophy in over two years.

Djokovic enjoyed an impressive record against Murray, who has won only 11 of their 36 meetings.

The current world number one, who will lose his status to Rafael Nadal at the start of November regardless of their respective displays at the Paris Masters, is now looking forward to Murray continuing his resurgence next year.

"I sincerely hope so," Djokovic told a news conference at the ATP Masters event, when asked if world number 128 Murray could rediscover the form that took him to three grand slam titles.

"I hope that he can be in contention for the top spot because tennis would profit from that and benefit. Because we know how big of a legacy he left behind and he is still creating for himself.

"Knowing what he has been through in the last three years, it was really nice to see him win a title after a long time. Only he knows the adversities that he had to face physically but also mentally.

"I know the discipline and the ethics that he has and how hardworking he is, so he definitely deserves it. And I would definitely wish him all the best."

While Nadal will replace Djokovic as number one in the rankings on November 4, the Serbian can still end the year in top spot, though it will likely require him to win all his matches in Paris and at the ATP Finals in London.

"I'm not thinking about it in that way. But I am in the race for number one with Rafa. He's in a much better position, but I hope I can do well in this tournament," Djokovic, who will face Dusan Lajovic or Corentin Moutet in his first match in Paris.

"I've historically played really well indoors in Paris and also London, but it doesn't depend on me.

"So I cannot really focus too much on what he is doing or other players. I'll try to kind of get the most out of my performances and see where it takes me.

"In order to have a chance for year-end number one, I have to win all of my matches until the end of the season. But also it depends on [Nadal], how he does."

Andy Murray will make his first Davis Cup appearance since 2016 when he represents Great Britain at the finals in Madrid in November.

Great Britain captain Leon Smith has named Murray alongside Dan Evans, plus doubles pair Jamie Murray - Andy's younger brother - and Neal Skupski, with a fifth member yet to be decided.

After looking set to retire at the start of 2019, Murray has come back in extraordinary fashion, capping off his return to the ATP Tour with an incredible triumph in the European Open on Sunday.

The 32-year-old had previously stated his intent to play in the finals, which have been revamped for this season, with 18 teams competing in six groups.

"We are in a good position with improved strength and depth in our team and will be naming the fifth player in the next couple of weeks," Smith said.

"It's been absolutely fantastic to see Andy back competing again, headlined by his incredible win in Antwerp."

Kyle Edmund, who has lost his past seven tour matches, has not been included, though is likely to be competing with Cameron Norrie for the final spot on Smith's team.

Davis Cup winners in 2015, Great Britain were given a wildcard for the event and will face the Netherlands and Kazakhstan in the group stage.

Rafael Nadal, who will become world number one once more in November, will lead Spain's side, with Novak Djokovic in action for Serbia, while in-form Daniil Medvedev headline's Russia's side.

Roger Federer will not be participating, with Switzerland failing to qualify.

Andy Murray's tears of despair in Melbourne were swapped for tears of joy in Antwerp after a heart-warming triumph at the European Open.

The three-time grand slam winner overcame Stan Wawrinka in three topsy-turvy sets to win a first ATP Tour title since 2017.

It marks an incredible turnaround for Murray, who at a news conference previewing the Australian Open in January spoke of his fears that his career was coming to an end due to a long-term hip injury, for which he underwent resurfacing surgery after the opening slam of 2019.

Just nine months later and Murray is a singles champion again on the ATP Tour. Here, we look back at an emotional 2019 for the popular Briton.

 

TEARS IN MELBOURNE

Murray broke down in tears when briefing the press ahead of the Australian Open in January after struggling to recover from hip surgery.

"I'm not sure I'm able to play through the pain for another four or five months. I want to get to Wimbledon and stop but I'm not certain I can do that," Murray said ahead of a valiant five-set first-round loss to Roberto Bautista-Agut.

Later that month, Murray underwent hip resurfacing surgery.

PAIN FREE AND ARISE SIR ANDY

Six weeks later, Murray sat down with BBC Sport for an interview in which he said he was "pain free" following the procedure, though admitted his chances of playing at Wimbledon were slim.

In May, Murray received the honour of a knighthood at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace, saying: "It's a nice day to spend with my family – my wife and parents are here."

HOWDY, PARTNERS! QUEEN'S GLORY 'DELICIANO'

Murray fans were delighted in June when it was announced he would play doubles with Feliciano Lopez – a player once dubbed 'Deliciano' by his mother Judy Murray.

Incredibly, the duo defeated Joe Salisbury and Rajeev Ram to clinch the title.

SERENA DREAM TEAM AT WIMBLEDON

Murray made headlines without even striking a ball when it was announced he would pair up with Serena Williams for a star-studded mixed-doubles pairing at Wimbledon.

It was a partnership that ended in round three, while Murray and Pierre-Hugues Herbert were knocked out in round two of the men's doubles.

Murray later teamed up with brother Jamie and again with Lopez to build up his match fitness, before another huge announcement followed.

GOING SOLO IN CINCINNATI

It was a moment he feared might not happen, but in August Murray was back playing singles at the Cincinnati Masters.

A first-round defeat to Richard Gasquet followed but Murray continued to add match minutes and claimed a notable victory over Matteo Berrettini at the China Open, before losing an ill-tempered second-round clash to Fabio Fognini at the Shanghai Masters.

ANDY AWESOME IN ANTWERP

After defeating Kimmer Coppejans and Pablo Cuevas in straight sets at the European Open, Murray needed to dip deep to go the distance in victories over Marius Copil and Ugo Humbert.

The fact Murray had made the final of an ATP Tour tournament was a huge achievement in itself and, after dropping the first set to Wawrinka, it looked a tall order to go a step further.

But in a back-and-forth encounter, Murray triumphed 3-6 6-4 6-4 before breaking down in tears courtside.

"It's amazing to be back playing against him in a final like that. I think it was a great match. I didn't expect to be in this position at all, so I'm very happy," he said.

Andy Murray surpassed his own expectations after claiming a memorable come-from-behind victory over Stan Wawrinka in the final of the European Open.

In January, an emotional Murray stated during a press briefing at the Australian Open that he thought his career might be over due to a long-term hip injury.

The Briton underwent resurfacing surgery but made a return to court in doubles competition at Queen's in June before making a singles comeback in Cincinnati in August.

Just two months on, the tears of despair in Melbourne were replaced by tears of joy as Murray earned a first ATP title win since 2017 after defeating Wawrinka 3-6 6-4 6-4 in Antwerp.

"It means a lot. The past few years have been extremely difficult. Both me and Stan have had a lot of injury problems in the past couple of years," Murray said on court. 

"It's amazing to be back playing against him in a final like that. I think it was a great match. I didn't expect to be in this position at all, so I'm very happy."

Wawrinka himself was searching for a first Tour title since two surgeries on his left knee in August 2017 and Murray paid tribute to his defeated opponent.

"Stan is a brilliant player. He's won many, many big tournaments. He always plays extremely well in the big matches," Murray said. 

"We know each other's games well. We played many tough matches in the past. I expected another one and that was what I got."

Andy Murray claimed a fairy-tale victory as he rallied to beat Stan Wawrinka in the final of the European Open.

He sealed his first ATP Tour crown since March 2017 by coming from behind to win a battle lasting two hours and 27 minutes 3-6 6-4 6-4 in Antwerp.

Murray's victory on Sunday capped a remarkable week as he claimed a title in the same year his career had been thrown into major doubt when he underwent hip resurfacing surgery after the Australian Open.

It had looked like he would fall to convincing loss when he dropped serve in the second set and Wawrinka – whose wait for a first title since May 2017 goes on – had two chances to go a double break in front.

But Murray showed his trademark grit to record a tournament win which, while being at ATP 250 level, will undoubtedly go down as one of the sweetest in his storied career.

Murray put his hands to his head in disbelief after sealing victory and broke down in tears as he acknowledged the crowd and took his seat before getting his hands on the trophy.

 

Andy Murray is looking forward to renewing acquaintances with Stan Wawrinka at the European Open in his first singles final since 2017.

Murray is playing his final tournament of the year, aside from the Davis Cup, in Antwerp as he continues a remarkable comeback from hip resurfacing surgery that was expected to end his career.

The three-time grand slam champion progressed to his first final since March 2017 with a 3-6 7-5 6-2 win over Ugo Humbert.

He will face Wawrinka, who himself tumbled out of the top 250 in 2018 after continued injury issues but is now back in the top 20, in the showpiece on Sunday.

"I am obviously happy to be in the final," said Murray. "I did very well to turn that match around today. It was tough. He was playing huge from the back of the court… it was tricky but I am obviously happy to be back in a final.

"I think it will be a nice match to play. Me and Stan have played a lot against each other… it is nice that we are both able to be back playing against each other in a final.

"It was obviously big for me to get that [6-5] game in the second set, but the game that won me the match was the first game of the third set.

"When I was 0-40 down, I think I played a couple of good points. It was a huge game to get out of. I felt like the momentum was with me once I won that game, I felt like that was what set me on my way."

Meanwhile, Denis Shapovalov is into his first career ATP final at the Stockholm Open, the 20-year-old overcoming Yuichi Sugita 7-5 6-2 to set up a meeting with Filip Krajinovic, who got the better of Pablo Carreno Busta over three sets.

At the Kremlin Cup, Andrey Rublev is a win away from his second ATP title after beating former US Open champion Marin Cilic 7-5 6-4.

He will face Adrian Mannarino, a 6-3 6-4 victor over Andreas Seppi.

Andy Murray will face Stan Wawrinka in his first ATP Tour singles final since March 2017 after coming from a set down to beat Ugo Humbert at the European Open.

Murray's career was in doubt after he underwent hip resurfacing surgery in January, but the former world number one could add to his title haul on Sunday after a 3-6 7-5 6-2 defeat of Humbert.

The three-time grand slam champion has not featured in a singles championship match since overcoming Fernando Verdasco in Dubai two and a half years ago.

Murray passed another stamina test and showed his strength of character to get past Humbert on Saturday, setting up a mouthwatering decider against fellow multiple major winner Wawrinka.

Humbert secured the first break of the second semi-final to lead 4-2 after fending off two break points in the previous game and served out the opening set to love.

Murray took the upper hand in the second by breaking to lead 3-1 and although he was unable to consolidate as the 21-year-old hit straight back, the Brit broke again to level the match.

Southpaw Humbert saw three break-point opportunities pass him by in the opening game of the final set and was soon up against it at 3-0 down, with Murray going on to put away a simple volley at the net to break again and move into the final.

Fourth seed Wawrinka also came through a battle between youth and experience, seeing off Jannik Sinner 6-3 6-2.

The Swiss, also eyeing a first ATP Tour title since 2017, broke four times to end the 18-year-old's impressive run.

Andy Murray reached his first ATP Tour singles semi-final for over two years by rolling up his sleeves to overcome Marius Copil in the European Open on Friday.

The three-time grand slam champion's persistence paid off as he battled past Copil with a 6-3 6-7 (7-9) 6-4 victory in Antwerp.

Murray squandered a 4-1 lead in a second set he lost after holding the same advantage in a tie-break, with Copil saving a match point. 

The Brit was not to be denied a place in the last four, winning what was his second quarter-final since returning from hip resurfacing surgery after claiming the only break of the final set.

Ugo Humbert stands in the way of Murray and a place in the final after coming from a set down to beat Guido Pella 5-7 6-4 6-4.

Fourth seed Stan Wawrinka outlasted Gilles Simon 6-3 6-7 (6-8) 6-2 and will face Jannik Sinner, who became the youngest ATP semi-finalist since 2014 when he got past Frances Tiafoe 6-4 3-6 6-3.

There will be no back-to-back Kremlin Cup triumphs for Karen Khachanov in his homeland after Andreas Seppi beat the defending champion 3-6 6-3 6-3.

Seppi has reached at least the quarter-finals in his past six appearances in Moscow and will face Adrian Mannarino - a straight-sets winner against Dusan Lajovic - for a place in the final after claiming the scalp of the second seed.

Marin Cilic took out Jeremy Chardy 6-4 4-6 7-6 (7-2) and will go up against Andrey Rublev, who saw the back of Nikola Milojevic 6-2 6-3.

There will be no dream swansong for Janko Tipsarevic at the Stockholm Open after Yuichi Sugita ended the Serbian's career with a 6-2 4-6 7-6 (7-4) triumph, booking a semi-final showdown with Denis Shapovalov.

Shapovalov eased to a 6-0 6-3 defeat of Cedrik-Marcel Stebe, while Pablo Carreno Busta beat Sam Querrey and will face Filip Krajinovic - conqueror of Yoshihito Nishioka.

Andy Murray moved into the quarter-finals by beating Pablo Cuevas after the top three seeds crashed out of the European Open, while Fabio Fognini was dumped out in Stockholm on Thursday.

Murray produced another encouraging performance in Antwerp, reaching the last eight of a singles tournament for the second time since returning to the ATP Tour following a hip resurfacing operation in January.

The former world number one saw off eighth seed Cuevas 6-4 6-3 after saving all four break points he faced, winning 82 per cent of points on his first serve and 74 per cent behind his second.

Murrray started strongly and dominated from the back of the court, finishing Cuevas off with back-to-back aces to ensure he will take on Marius Copil.

Copil ousted Diego Schwartzman 6-4 5-7 7-6 (9-7), while top seed Gael Monfils went down 6-3 6-2 to 18-year-old Italian outsider Jannik Sinner and David Goffin, the second seed, was thumped 6-3 6-1 by Ugo Humbert in his homeland.

Jan-Lennard Struff was another seed to fall in the second round, losing 6-3 6-4 to Frances Tiafoe.

Janko Tipsarevic's retirement will have to wait until another day after he hammered ATP Finals contender Fognini 6-1 6-1 to move into the quarter-finals of the Stockholm Open.

Tipsarevic lost just four points on his first serve and will take on lucky loser Yuichi Sugita, who beat Stefano Travaglia in straight sets.

Fourth seed Denis Shapovalov got the better of Alexei Popyrin 6-4 7-6 (7-3) in the Swedish capital, with Pablo Carreno Busta and Cedrik-Marcel Stebe also victorious.

Marin Cilic beat fellow Croatian Ivo Karlovic 6-1 7-6 (7-5) to book a Kremlin Cup quarter-final showdown with Jeremy Chardy, who came out on top against Miomir Kecmanovic.

Andrey Rublev and lucky loser Nikola Milojevic came through their second-round matches versus Egor Gerasimov and Alen Avidzba respectively in Moscow.

Andy Murray advanced to the second round at the European Open with a straight-sets win over Kimmer Coppejans.

The former world number one triumphed 6-4 7-6 (7-4) to win a match in two sets for just the second time since August.

He was made to work hard by Coppejans, who broke Murray three times in total, including in his first two service games in the second set, but the Briton eventually prevailed in an hour and 45 minutes.

Seventh seed Jan-Lennard Struff dropped just three games in beating Gregoire Barrere, while Gilles Simon and Feliciano Lopez were among the other players to advance.

At the Kremlin Cup, home hope Andrey Rublev overcame Alexander Bublik 6-1 3-6 6-4.

After taking the opener, Rublev then lost the first five games in a row en route to losing the second set and the sixth seed was a break down in the decider only to rally and progress.

Ivo Karlovic staved off a match point and won a third-set tie-break against Aljaz Bedene to progress, along with Jeremy Chardy and Philipp Kohlschreiber, who beat Nicolas Jarry and Pierre-Hugues Herbert respectively.

Pablo Carreno Busta was the only seed in action at the Stockholm Open and he defeated John Millman 6-4 6-3, with Sam Querrey among those to also go through.

Andy Murray believes there is an outside chance he can return to the top of men's tennis, though his more pressing priority is the latest addition to his growing family.

Murray's wife Kim is expecting their third child this month and the latest stage of his comeback from hip resurfacing surgery at the European Open in Antwerp will be put on hold if the baby arrives early.

The three-time grand slam champion and former world number one has impressed in recent events and saw off a top-20 player in Matteo Berrettini at the China Open, though he lost in the quarter-finals to Dominic Thiem.

A thrilling second-round defeat to Fabio Fognini at the Shanghai Masters provided more reasons for optimism and the Australian Open confirmed Murray will be in the field at the first grand slam of 2020.

Having previously said it would be naive to expect him to return to his best, Murray provided a more upbeat projection of what the future may hold in an interview with The Times.

"I am surprised with how smooth it has been," Murray said of his comeback. "I had two years of having lots of pain after every single match. Now I play a match, the body hurts, I have some pain in my back, the muscles are tired and things like that, but my hip is fine and I couldn't remember what that was like before.

"It has been hard but I expected it to be quite a bumpy road because it wasn't something that has been done in tennis before. I know having done this that you will see way more athletes having this operation and coming back to compete, because there is no reason why you shouldn't be able to.

"There is no pain. The range of motion is the one thing that is a bit limited in some sports. I don't know if there are some sports in which that is more important than tennis. But it is great.

"I have been competitive so far. If I can keep improving a few things over the next few months, then maybe there is an outside chance I can get around there [the top of the sport]. But I am not going to be playing a similar schedule to what I played beforehand.

"If I do get up there, I'm not going to be focusing on ranking targets. You look at what Roger [Federer], Rafa [Nadal] and I guess Novak [Djokovic], to a certain extent, are doing to give themselves a chance to play longer.

"Right now, Rafa could be fighting to finish number one in the world and it's not a priority for him. I would like to be competitive in the big events against the best players. I'm not there yet, but I'm closer than I was a month ago, and much closer than a couple of months ago.

"I now know that it’s not important where or when I end my career. If I had another hip injury, I probably wouldn't keep going. I wouldn't want to do another six or seven months or rehab, because I feel I pretty much had two years of it.

"My hip could break and that would be it. I would be finished if that happened. But there is no sign of that happening any time soon. It seems to be getting stronger all the time."

On how the imminent arrival of his third child could alter his plans for the coming week in Belgium, Murray said: "Obviously the baby can come any time from pretty much next week.

"I would adjust my schedule if I couldn't go to Antwerp. My plan is to play Antwerp and then I am done through to the Davis Cup [in November]. If the baby came early, I would miss Antwerp and then maybe play at the Paris Masters [starting October 26]."

An irritated Andy Murray accused Fabio Fognini of "hindrance" in their fiery second-round clash at the Shanghai Masters on Tuesday.

Three-time Shanghai champion Murray was annoyed by a loud noise, which he claims was made by Fognini, when he had a volley at the net for a 15-30 lead at 5-5 in the third set.

The Briton went on to break Fognini for a second chance to serve out the match, but at the changeover the pair were involved in a heated discussion.

When Murray complained about the noise to chair umpire Fergus Murphy and Fognini attempted to interject, the three-time major champion told his opponent to "shut up".

Murray was unable to close out the victory and Fognini, who had earlier been handed a code violation for hitting a ball into the stand and throwing his racket at a court-side chair, had the last laugh by sealing a 7-6 (7-4) 2-6 7-6 (7-2) triumph.

Asked about the incident, Murray said: "I had a volley on top of the net. Someone made a noise, I didn't know who made the noise.

"I looked in the direction of where the noise came from. He [Fognini] then told me, 'Stop looking at me, what are you looking at me for?' and I was like, 'I was just about to hit a shot and someone made a noise.'

"He was then telling me to stop looking at him. Normally when someone shouts during the middle of a point, which is pretty rare something like that happens, he told me to stop complaining, to have a sense of humour, that when you have a volley on top of the net you're not going to miss it.

"Well I know I'm not going to miss it but I wanted to know where the sound came from. It came from him, which you're not allowed to do, it's against the rules, it's hindrance, you shouldn't do it.

"He said I should have a sense of humour about it, but I would say in the moment neither of us were in a joking, laughing kind of mood. That was the issue."

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