Smiling, serving and succeeding – inside Andy Murray’s comeback performance

Fever-Tree Championships - Day Four

Andy Murray made his competitive comeback to tennis on Thursday, just 143 days after undergoing hip surgery in a bid to save his career.

The former world number one linked up with Spaniard Feliciano Lopez in the doubles at Queen’s club, facing top seeds Juan Sebastian Cabal and Robert Farah.

Here, we analyse the 32-year-old Scot’s comeback performance.

Movement

Murray may have set off the metal detectors on the way in, but his newly resurfaced hip has left him pain free, and he moved well throughout even if the positioning, understandably, went awry occasionally.

He got up after one slip at the net to twist and attempt a backhand smash with no obvious discomfort.

Shot-making

The weapon Murray was never likely to lose.

His first shot in anger since January was a backhand service return straight to the feet of Cabal.

There were some lovely disguised volleys at the net, and a flashing forehand winner, with a little help from the net tape, to clinch the first-set tie-break.

Murray never dropped serve, although his second serve was understandably a little shaky.

Fever-Tree Championships - Day Four

Body Language

Obviously this was no epic Wimbledon five-setter in the singles, so Murray cut a far more upbeat figure than we are used to.

Clearly a man just happy to be back on a tennis court, he smiled at every high-five with Lopez between points. Nor was this an exhibition, though.

Murray wanted to win this one and the familiar fist pump followed another athletic backhand winner as the fledgling partnership knocked out the top seeds.

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