(Reuters) - Former world tennis number one Andy Murray said he can finally play without worrying about his hip following career-saving surgery in January, but expects next year's Australian Open to be the biggest test of his progress.
The 32-year-old looked on the verge of ending his career at the start of the year but returned to singles action on the ATP Tour in August following resurfacing surgery, and won his first trophy since 2017 beating Stan Wawrinka in Antwerp last month.
Having played only one match in Britain's run to the last-four of the Davis Cup Finals in Spain last week due to a groin issue, Murray is hoping to build up his fitness ahead of the first Grand Slam of 2020.
"I know I'll be able to compete in major tournaments without having to worry about it," Murray told reporters ahead of a documentary release on his injury problems in the last year.
"I've played three-set matches and some long ones recently, but the best of five is an extra hour, hour-and-a-half on top of that so I'll find out in Australia.
"At the beginning, you're thinking about it (hip) after every movement you make and that's not a good way to go into competing but now I'm not thinking about it when I'm playing."
Three-times Grand Slam champion Murray is also scheduled to play in the inaugural ATP Cup in Australia starting Jan. 3.
"I was asked what would be success in Australia and I don't know how I'll perform," Murray added.
"I'm not expecting to win the tournament (Australian Open) but if I can play a five-set match and get through and have no ill effects on the hip ... that's success."
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Christopher Cushing)