Andy Murray needs to call time on his great career rather than ruin his legacy

Summer and Murray go together like Pimm’s and lemonade or goldfish and memory issues so what a pleasure it is to see one of the true British sporting greats gracing the courts again. Just don’t get too used to it.
Murray’s comeback from a career-saving hip operation is both a personal triumph and a colossal boost for tennis in this country. As the man who singled-handedly rescued the sport from laughing stock status in Britain, his inspiring presence will add an extra layer of interest to Wimbledon next month.
He intends to play in the doubles and do so the same at the US Open before, if all goes well, dipping his toe back into singles tennis at the end of the year.
Murray says he is just happy to be out there again doing what he loves. There is no reason to doubt his word on that.
Cured of the pain which accompanied his condition for almost two years before the hip-resurfacing operation he underwent in January, the cheer radiating uncontrollably from a sportsman who has in the past played on a misery-guts facade, is understandable.
It is not only playing the tennis itself but the familiarity of being back in the only world he has known as an adult. The circuit, with its camaraderie and bonhomie, holds a welcoming familiarity.But, inside, Murray is an ultra-competitive animal. The drive which manifested itself both in his refusal to give up on any rally and in occasional in on-court rants powers him as a sportsman.
From moving to Spain as a teenager to immerse himself in a more productive environment to hammering stubbornly at the Grand Slam door until it finally opened, he has never settled for second best.If, at 32, Murray cannot hit the heights he once did, he is unlikely to hang around as a ceremonial tennis player.
It was his frustration at his dwindling powers as well as the pain which persuaded him to undergo the second hip operation. Losing to Roberto Bautista Agut in the first round of the Australian Open after succumbing to Daniil Medvedev in the second round of the Brisbane International is not much fun for someone used to going toe to toe with Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal.
British tennis will pray he is fully restored. Bob Bryan proved that it is possible to come back from this type of surgery and compete at the top of tennis again but that is as a doubles player with its limited requirements in terms of court coverage.
Singles is a different exam paper.
For Murray, whose game at its peak was anchored on the mileage he clocked up, any loss of mobility would be terminal for his chances of adding to his three Grand Slams.
The next few weeks will tell us – and him – more about his physical state but if the new Murray is a level down on the old one, do not bank on a long, drawn-out goodbye.