Andy Murray is heading in the right direction, believes four-time Wimbledon semi-finalist Tim Henman

“If he could win that tournament, can he get back to win again on the main tour? I think he can,” Tim Henman believes Andy Murray can return to his former glories although Grand Slams may prove a step too far.

Murray played his first tournament of the year in Italy last week on the second-tier Challenger Tour, reaching the final before losing to Illya Marchenko on Sunday.

It was a jarring sight seeing Murray battling away in a sports hall while the world’s best players competed in the Australian Open but an ill-timed bout of coronavirus prevented him from travelling to Melbourne, and the 33-year-old did not want to waste time.

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He was still deciding on Monday whether to stay in Biella and compete in a second Challenger, while it was confirmed he will make his ATP Tour return at next week’s Open Sud de France in Montpellier.

Henman said: “I watched some of his matches last week and spoke to (coach) Jamie Delgado and it’s great that he played five matches in six days.

“I think it also speaks volumes about his hunger and desire. It can’t be easy when you’ve got the Australian Open going on in the background and you’re at a lower-level event.

“The more I’m seeing him compete, I think his movement is going in the right direction and so the more he can play matches and his body can recover, then I think the more opportunity he’s got of stepping up to the next level.

“When I look back to the tournament he won in Antwerp at the end of 2019, his movement is much better now. If he could win that tournament, can he get back to win again on the main tour? I think he can.”

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Henman added: “The slams, best of five sets and the recovery, I don’t know the possibilities there, he doesn’t know the possibilities, but he wants to give himself that opportunity to challenge himself.”

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