Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Murray Is Tipped for Quick Return

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Murray Is Tipped for Quick Return

Article excerpt

DAVIS Cup captain Leon Smith has backed Andy Murray's decision to pull out of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals and expects the world number three to be firing on all cylinders in Australia next year.

Murray struggled through his first match at the season-ending O2 event against David Ferrer with a groin injury, but then decided the risk of playing his final two round-robin matches would be too great.

The Scot will now take time to rest the problem before heading out to Miami for pre-season training, then to Australia.

Murray confirmed earlier this week he will begin his season at the Brisbane International, starting on January 1, instead of the Hopman Cup in preparation for the Australian Open.

Smith, who is also the head of men's and women's tennis at the Lawn Tennis Association, said of Murray: "Like everyone else I listened to his comments and you could see he was very disappointed.

"He has had an amazing year in the slams, he is in good form and that is why you work so hard to get to these big events.

"It is a wonderful event for him, in London with his home fans, but it sounds like it is the right decision because once you pick up a little niggle it can turn into something worse and worse by playing through.

"We think there is a long gap until the next slam, but it is really not if you want to make significant gains in your tennis or your physical side. He has to look after his body.

"He has had a tremendous year and now it is a question of building back up for what we really hope will be a fantastic 2012 for him.

"He has a lot to look forward to and one thing is for sure - he really wants to put a lot of work in this pre-season, which he always has done.

"He always comes out in Australia looking in great shape and once he gets over this injury, whichneeds a bit of time to settle down, he will be back in full swing and ready to go."

It was an unfortunate end to undoubtedly the best season of Murray's career, the Scot having won five titles and reached the Australian Open final, and the last four at the other three grand slams. …

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