Thu, 28 May 2020

Andy Murray's coach Jamie Delgado says the three-time Grand Slam winner was nearing a return to competitive tennis before the ATP Tour went on a hiatus.

Former world No 1 Murray has not played tennis since the Davis Cup Finals last year and, after initially revealing that he suffered a setback that could require further surgery, he got back on track after his body responded well during training.

Delgado says they considered playing at the Miami Open, which was due to start on 23 March, but then the tennis season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"Andy and I were practising a couple of weeks ago on the hard, with the potential of playing Miami, but we were holding on [over a decision] after the Indian Wells event cancellation," he told ATP Tennis Radio.

"We then practised on clay for some days, then bit by bit [the world] closed down. We will just have to wait and see when the restrictions lift for everyone.

"It's a tough time for everyone, not just on the tennis court, but the whole world has come to a halt. I haven't left the house for a couple of days, and I only leave to get food and exercise once per day... My parents were on a cruise a couple of weeks ago in Central America, but were fortunate to get off and get a flight."

The ATP and WTA initially put tennis on ice until 7 June with clay-court tournaments cancelled while the French Open was moved to September.

That was later extended until 13 July, wiping out the grass-court campaign, but Delgado admits it could be a while before tennis returns.

"Tennis is such an international, global sport, that it may take a while to get back. Players, coaches, officials, sponsors and fans are all involved," he said.

"It's not like a domestic football league, where no one is needed to fly in or fly out. With Andy coming close to fitness, this virus was the last thing we wanted."

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