Thrilled Andy Murray returns from hip injury crisis with 'brilliant' Queen's victory
Andy Murray bounced back to tennis with an eye-catching comeback performance and a dazzling victory at the Queen's Club Championships.
The two-time former Wimbledon champion was roared to doubles success by fans thrilled to see him back on tour, as he teamed up with Feliciano Lopez for a 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 win against the tournament's top seeds.
Colombians Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah must have been surprised by Murray's sharp display as the Scot returned to action less than five months since having surgery on what was considered a career-threatening hip problem.
"It was brilliant. I enjoyed it a lot," Murray, 32, said afterwards. "I was a little bit slow at the beginning but got better as the match went on. I'm very fortunate to be back playing tennis again."
Murray had his hip resurfacing operation days after losing a dramatic first-round match to Roberto Bautista Agut at the Australian Open. Video tributes from long-standing rivals were shown on court in an apparent Melbourne Park farewell to Murray following the Bautista Agut match, after the former world number one hinted he might be finished, yet on Thursday he showed there could be plenty of life left in his career yet.
Murray revealed this week he has not been feeling pain for several months, after at least two years of torment for the former world number one. He reasoned his best prospect of grass-court action this summer was in doubles, with his singles involvement still some way off, and was happy to pair up with Spaniard Lopez, a long-time friend.
There were some magical moments from Murray - silky volleys, a familar fist pump after he powered away a tricky backhand overhead for a winner - and a touch of ring-rust too. But that was to be expected. Murray's movement was positive and, barring one worrying slip on the grass, he looked untroubled.
Murray, who was given a standing ovation, said on the BBC: "I absolutely love playing on this court. It's a brilliant place to play tennis. I felt quite relaxed today in the build-up. But we both said to each other as were walking to the court that I'm beginning to feel a little bit nervous now, and that maybe showed at the beginning.
"But that's what you want when you're playing tennis. You want the nerves, the butterflies in the stomach. and I had that today."