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EXCLUSIVE :Andy Murray reveals retirement plan over Federer, Nadal, Djokovic ambition …See Full Details

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Andy Murray has given himself just five months to be good enough to beat the very top players in tennis – otherwise he will start to plan his retirement.

There were plenty of signs of his old self in his first ATP tour win since his hip operation – a brave 6-3, 6-7, 6-1 victory over Tennys Sandgren in the humidity of the Zhuhai Championships.

However, the former world no. 1 has always made it clear that he will only continue his comeback while he is “enjoying himself”.

Rafael Nadal Still 'Confident' Of Laver Cup Participation As He lifts Lid On

Speaking exclusively at the tournament, he has spelled out exactly what that means.

“If I was stepping on court in February and I did not feel I had any chance of going up against the best five players in the world and winning, I probably would not enjoy that,” Andy Murray said.

A month ago he lost 7-6, 7-5 to the American ranked 69 in the world at Winston-Salem – a defeat that sent him back to the Challenger tour for the first time since 2005.

Despite his win, Murray is under no illusions that he still has a long way to go before he can walk out with confidence to face the likes of Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

Andy Murray Uses Protected Ranking To Enter ATP Cup

Andy Murray Uses Protected Ranking To Enter ATP Cup

The 32-year-old even admits that if he were to play any of them as soon as Shanghai in two weeks’ time – the next tournament in which they are all scheduled to compete – the result could even be a set-back.

“If I went out there against one of those three and lost 6-1, 6-1 and got killed, yeah, that is not necessarily productive,” he said.

Novak Djokovic
“The mentality going into a match like that right now would not be ideal.

“Not that I ever felt playing them I was ever favourite, but I always felt I would have a chance.

“But right now, that would not be the case.

“Although, if I went and was actually competitive, did well and performed well, that can actually help, I don’t know…”

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