Former men’s tennis world number one Andy Murray can be encouraged by the examples of Lleyton Hewitt and Milos Raonic, who both returned from hip surgery, according to his former coach Miles Maclagan.
The 30-year-old two-time Wimbledon champion withdrew from the tournament in Brisbane on Tuesday and raised the prospect he may require surgery on the hip that has kept him off the ATP circuit — apart from a one set loss last week in an exhibition in Abu Dhabi — since losing at Wimbledon last June.
The Scotsman said he would make his mind up by the weekend whether he would play in the year’s first Grand Slam the Australian Open — in which he has been a finalist five times — which gets under way on January 15.
Maclagan, who coached Murray from 2007-10, said the upside was he wasn’t feeling like this after surgery.
“It’s concerning because the first option hasn’t worked out, which was a lot of rehab,” Maclagan told the BBC.
“I know he’s put as much into it as he possibly could.
“There have been big advancements in medicine and there are guys like Lleyton Hewitt and Milos Raonic who had this sort of surgery and came back to a good level.
“But of course it’s never quite the same.
“It would probably be more worrying if he’d had the surgery and still wasn’t quite right, so there’s still a plan B.”
Maclagan, who has also coached Australia’s 2011 US Open champion Sam Stosur, said Murray would have to adapt his style if he does undergo surgery.
“If he can get fit, it might force him to play a different sort of game, with shorter rallies,” Maclagan said.
“That could be very exciting, [but] he’s got a tough road back.
“The characteristic of these great players is that when they’ve had a setback they often come back stronger, reinvigorated in the mind. He said he was tired, so could come back with a fresh mentality.”