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Tennis: Andy Murray hopes to be fit enough by next year to play Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal

LONDON (REUTERS) – Former world No. 1 Andy Murray said he still needs four or five months to play top-level tennis so that he can again take on old rivals Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal after career-saving hip surgery earlier this year.

The 32-year-old is regaining his fitness after a hip-resurfacing procedure in January, and late in August recorded the first two victories of his singles comeback at the Rafa Nadal Open Challenger tournament in Mallorca before making a third-round exit.

Briton Murray, who has dropped to 415 in the world rankings, will next compete in Zhuhai, Beijing and Shanghai in the Asian swing of the ATP tour this year, but the three-time Major winner thinks that it will be 2020 before he is "maybe" able to face the challenge of playing Federer or Nadal.

"For years… I competed against them, although I haven't won every time. I've lost more than I've won but I always went out onto court feeling I could win," Murray told Sky Sports.

"I don't know if I'd enjoy going out on court against them knowing I'm going to lose or feeling like I had no chance. That would probably be psychologically challenging… I need to be patient and not expect too much too soon.

"But maybe in four or five months, I can get there. In terms of how I'm hitting the ball in practice… the skill is still there. I physically need to get a little better and hopefully over time I get a little bit faster… I think I will."

Murray

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