Andy Murray says his main hope for 2018 is to be 'really competitive' on the court

31 December 2017, 13:48

Andy Murray says his expectations are not high entering the 2018 season and that he just wants to return to playing competitive tennis.

The 30-year-old British No 1 and three-time major winner has slipped to 16th in the world rankings, having been sidelined by hip problems since Wimbledon.

He took part in a one-set exhibition against Roberto Bautista Agut in Abu Dhabi on Friday, and did not look 100 per cent as he lost 6-2 to the Spaniard.

But Murray still intends to play in this week's Brisbane International, and he will start out against Ryan Harrison or Leonardo Mayer after being given a first-round bye.

Murray said: "My expectations aren't massively high right now, because I haven't played for such a long time.

"I want to enjoy playing again, I've really missed it the last six months or so. You re-evaluate what's important to you.

"I want to be able to play tennis. I don't mind if it's 30 in the world level.

"I would love it to be number one in the world level but I just want to play.

"When that's taken away from you, you realise how important it is. I'm just hoping I can get back to a level where I'm able to be really competitive.

"I want to get back to playing my best tennis and winning the biggest tournaments but, if I don't, I'm okay with that."

Murray improved during the set against Bautista Agut but a limp was still very much in evidence and he appeared hampered on his forehand side at times.

But the Scot insisted he is fit enough to start his campaign in Brisbane, with the Australian Open just two weeks away.

"Unless something happens the next couple of days, I don't see myself not playing because of my hip," said Murray.

"I feel I need to play matches to see exactly where it's at.

"Practising and doing everything in the gym is great but playing matches is what I need."