Andy Murray shifting his targets ahead of anticipated return
Andy Murray has revealed his wish to simply return to full fitness currently trumps winning further grand slam titles after a year blighted by injury.
Murray was primed to add to his haul of three majors after starting 2017 as world number one, but indifferent results in Australia and France were followed by a hip complaint that has sidelined him since his quarterfinal exit at Wimbledon in July.
The 30-year-old has slumped to 16th in the rankings and once again split with coach Ivan Lendl, but says his absence from competitive action has allowed him to rediscover his love for the sport and forced a shift in priorities.
He told Sky Sports: "When I was fit and healthy last year you think about winning all the major events, getting to number one and winning every competition you're in, that's what really drives you.
"When you miss four or five months — and there's been a bit of uncertainty about my hip and stuff and I missed the US Open and I almost missed Wimbledon as well — the goals change and I remember now how much I just love playing tennis.
"It isn't about winning every match that I play in the future or winning more slams, I just want to get back to playing tennis. I want to be fit and healthy again and that's what's driving me just now, that's my goal, and I'm hoping that next year I get back to that."
However, the hope of adding to his two Wimbledon titles and one US Open crown will still be a significant motivating factor, with his place in the rankings taking a back seat.
He added: "The major competitions are the ones that drive me more than the ranking. I want to compete — it was tough for me basically limping out of Wimbledon at the end.
"I want to be competing hard and trying to win the Australian Open in January and the (other) grand slams. That is ultimately what I want to be doing but first and foremost I need to get healthy.
"I was pretty unhealthy for most of this year and I am getting there but it is a slow process."
A specific timetable for Murray's return has yet to be officially confirmed but the British No.1 said in November he hoped to feature at the Brisbane International, starting on Dec. 31, ahead of January's Australian Open.
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