Andy Murray to pause tennis comeback with wife Kim expecting third child

ALEX YOUNG

Andy Murray has decided to take a small break from tennis with wife Kim expecting the couple's third child in the coming weeks.

The former world no.1 will pause his comeback for a month following next week's European Open, but will leave Antwerp early should Kim go into early labour.

Murray told the Times: "Obviously the baby can come any time from pretty much next week. I would adjust my schedule if I couldn't go to Antwerp.

"My plan is to play Antwerp and then I am done through to the Davis Cup (November 18-25). If the baby came early, I would miss Antwerp and then maybe play at the Paris Masters (October 26-November 3)."

The 32-year-old has recently returned to singles competition following a career-saving hip resurfacing operation.

A run to the quarter-finals of the China Open last week - where he was beaten by world number five Dominic Thiem - was followed by a hard-fought second-round defeat to world number 12 Fabio Fognini at the Shanghai Masters.

Murray is pleased with his progress and the three-time grand slam winner is hopeful of being able to compete with the world's best going forward.

He added: "I am surprised with how smooth (my return) has been. I had two years of having lots of pain after every single match. Now I play a match, the body hurts, I have some pain in my back, the muscles are tired and things like that, but my hip is fine and I couldn't remember what that was like before.

"I have been competitive so far. If I can keep improving a few things over the next few months, then maybe there is an outside chance I can get around there.

"I would like to be competitive in the big events against the best players. I'm not there yet, but I'm closer than I was a month ago, and much closer than a couple of months ago."

Murray is the first player to return to the singles game following his type of surgery, although Bob Bryan has managed to continue his doubles career following a similar procedure.

Should he suffer another injury to the area, though, Murray would be ready to call it a day.

"I now know that it's not important where or when I end my career," he said.

"If I had another hip injury, I probably wouldn't keep going. My hip could break and that would be it. I would be finished if that happened.

"But there is no sign of that happening any time soon. It seems to be getting stronger all the time."

Additional reporting by Press Association.