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2019 in Scottish sport: Can Murray get back to his best?

Andy Murray is gearing up for a pivotal 12 months as he looks to rediscover top form.

Comeback: Murray is hoping to compete for major honours again in 2019.
Comeback: Murray is hoping to compete for major honours again in 2019. SNS

After a year to forget, Andy Murray has his fingers crossed the New Year will usher in a welcome change of luck.

Hip surgery 12 months ago put the Scot on the sidelines and ever since he has been battling to rediscover his form and fitness.

A stop-start comeback saw Murray play just 12 matches in 2018 before he decided to end his season early to focus on further rehab.

He spent several weeks in Philadelphia working under the watchful eye of Bill Knowles, a "reconditioning specialist" who has masterminded the return to form of a number of athletes, including Tiger Woods and John Terry.

Murray has already made his return to the courts this year, kicking off his campaign with victory over James Duckworth before losing out to talented Russian Daniil Medvedev in the second round of the Brisbane International.

https://stv.tv/sport/tennis/1434243-andy-murray-suffers-second-round-loss-in-brisbane/ | default

During those outings, the 31-year-old showed glimpses of his underlying supreme talent and that his will to win remains as strong as ever.

But lingering doubts remain over his ability to get his physicality back to the levels which saw him lift three grand slam titles and top the men's rankings.

Words of caution have also been omitting from the Murray camp in recent weeks that hip pain remains a constant menace for the Scot.

Hope, however, can quickly be found by taking a look at this packed early season schedule.

https://stv.tv/sport/tennis/1434202-surgeon-s-warning-as-andy-murray-begins-2019-season/ | default

The two-time Wimbledon champion is already in Melbourne preparing for the season's first grand slam, the Australian Open, later this month.

After that, indoor events in France, a tournament in Dubai and the Masters 1000 double of Indian Wells and Miami are also already pencilled in on his calendar.

For Murray and his many fans, the hope is that these tournaments provide the platform for the Dunblane hero to get himself back fighting fit for another shot at Wimbledon glory come the summer months.

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