Updated: Sunday, 29 December 2013 23:54 | By Agence France-Presse

Murray 'emotional' about ATP Tour comeback

Wimbledon champion Andy Murray admitted on Sunday just how much it means to him to make his return to the ATP Tour in Doha after a four-month interval.


Murray 'emotional' about ATP Tour comeback

Britain's Andy Murray returns the ball to France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga during their Mubadala World Tennis Championship match in the Emirati capital Abu Dhabi on December 26, 2013

Murray's back operation raised doubts about his future just a few weeks after the greatest triumph by any Briton in the history of the professional game at Wimbledon - so he has, he volunteers, strong feelings about the comeback.

"I'm off to work, it's been emotional," he tweeted after arriving from two exhibitions matches in neighbouring Abu Dhabi, and heading off for a centre court practice.

Murray's competitive restart will probably happen on Hogmanay, one of the most important of traditional Scottish celebrations, on Tuesday, which may feel like an omen for the man from Dunblane.

What is certain is that Murray is much more optimistic than a couple of weeks ago when he admitted: "It may never happen again, I might not win another one (Grand Slam) but I just want to give myself the best chance to do that."

"I just need more matches like this because the intensity's a lot higher than in practice. It's been a perfect start and hopefully I'll get better."

If he were seeking other omens, his exhibition victory last week against Stanislas Wawrinka could be one. 

The world number eight from Switzerland was the last player Murray played on the men's tour, when he lost his US Open title in the quarter-finals in New York.

No wonder Murray feels better than then. His mood also suggests he may indeed go on to compete in the Australian Open in two weeks' time, even though there had been hints he might not.

It has been five years since Murray played in Doha, previously preferring to warm up in Brisbane, which prompted speculation that - as when the injured Rafael Nadal entered the Qatar Open here last time and subsequently missed Australia - Murray might not be sure he is ready for a Grand Slam.

Murray may also be encouraged by having played particularly well after taking his last break.

When back problems forced his withdrawal from the French Open in May he came back to win the Queen's Club title in June and Wimbledon in July.

He may also be content that he should have a comfortable reintroduction to competition. His opening encounter is against Mousa Zayed, a Qatari wild card ranked 2,099 in the world.

That draw is in great contrast to Nadal's. 

The top-seeded world number one faces a start against Lukas Rosol, the Czech who caused one of the sport's biggest upsets when he beat Nadal in the second round of last year's Wimbledon.

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