Murray: 'I can compete against top-30 rivals, the end is not near'
Andy Murray has admitted that he has been pleasantly surprised by his own progress since returning to singles action.
Murray underwent a second hip surgery, known as a resurfacing of the joint, in an attempt to save his career and initially only played doubles.
However, he went solo for the first time since his latest operation in August and reached the quarter-finals in Beijing last week before being knocked out by eventual champion Dominic Thiem.
The former world No 1 is still outside the top 250 in the world but now appears to believe he can return to something like his best.
Andy MurrayGetty Images
"Until maybe a month ago, I didn't know I would be right at the top level", Murray, 32, said.
"Since I got in China, I feel like I have been competitive against all of the players I have competed against.
"I challenged a top-10 player, a top-20 player and a top-30 player, not winning all the matches but feeling like I've done really well.
Murray will today start his campaign at the Shanghai Masters against Juan Ignacio Londero, the Argentinian qualifier who is ranked 56 in the world and would represent the Scot's second-best victory of the year if he can make it through.
He will be building on a positive week in Beijing where he beat fellow Brit Cameron Norrie and world No 13 Matteo Berrettini.
“It was great for me. I played three matches in four days, which is quite a lot. Actually I felt better than I expected [on the fourth day]," Murray added.
“It was just another step for me. I wasn't expecting to go from here to my highest level or winning tournaments straightaway.
“Everything has kind of been a pretty gradual progress for me.
"This week [in Beijing] was another step, I think, in the right direction.”