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Andy Murray can rediscover best form even if he undergoes hip surgery, says Leon Smith

  • ontennis
  • 28 August 2017
  • 02:08

Leon Smith believes Andy Murray can take comfort from his comeback after back surgery as he considers going under the knife again.

The world number two is weighing up his options after ongoing hip problems forced him to pull out of the US Open.

Those options are dwindling given a lengthy period of rest and rehab following his Wimbledon exit did not reduce the soreness to a level where he felt he could do himself justice.

Murray will certainly be reluctant to undergo surgery at this stage in his career, having taken more than a year to get back to his best after his back operation in 2013.

Hip problems are also notoriously difficult to overcome and there is no guarantee that keyhole surgery would significantly improve the problem, while a more serious operation would mean the end of his career.

But, if he does decide to go under the knife, Smith believes Murray can take confidence from the way he ultimately recovered from the back surgery to have the best season of his career last year - as well as the form shown by Roger Federer after his own knee surgery and lengthy break.

The Great Britain Davis Cup captain said: "Every injury has its complications and you can go and see a number of different specialists and you might get quite varying responses in terms of next steps, best steps.

"He's a very intelligent guy and it's his career. I'm sure he'll take on board all the pieces of advice he's had and make a decision that's best for him.

"I'm sure if he looks around at other players it gives you confidence but he has also gone through it with his back and I'm sure that was a difficult decision.

"Surgery is always the one you wait on to make sure you've got enough evidence that it's going to make a positive difference, so he knows he can come through it again. He came out a better player so it's definitely possible."

With Murray absent in New York, the spotlight falls once again on Johanna Konta, one of four British players in action on the opening day.

Seventh seed Konta faces Serbia's Aleksandra Krunic while Heather Watson, bidding to avoid a seventh successive first-round loss, plays unpredictable Frenchwoman Alize Cornet.

Kyle Edmund takes on 32nd seed Robin Haase, with qualifier Cameron Norrie making his US Open debut against Dmitry Tursunov.

Edmund reached the fourth round here last year, beating Richard Gasquet and John Isner, and finds himself as the British number one following Murray's withdrawal.

The 22-year-old, who arrived in New York on Saturday after reaching the semi-finals of the Winston-Salem Open, said: "It's just unfortunate Andy's not playing but it doesn't change how I approach it. I've played Atlanta, Montreal, Cincinnati, Winston-Salem with Andy not there.

"I thought him travelling here meant he was feeling good. With it being the last slam you wonder if he's going to play the Masters if he's not playing slams. But I think Andy will still play for a few more years."

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