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

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Andy Murray is back in action (Steven Paston/PA)

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, Press Association Sport analysis the 32-year-old Scot’s comeback performance.

Movement

There was little wrong with Murray's movement
There was little wrong with Murray’s movement (Steven Paston/PA)

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

Murray's service game was good
Murray’s service game was good (Steven Paston/PA)

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.

Body language

Murray and Lopez made a fine team
Murray and Lopez made a fine team (Steven Paston/PA)

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 was 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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