Novak Djokovic says Andy Murray faces mental battle at Queen’s

Novak Djokovic says overcoming mental obstacles could be Andy Murray’s biggest challenge when he returns to tennis after a long-term hip injury.

Murray has not played a competitive match since losing to Sam Querrey in the Wimbledon quarter-finals last summer, and the former world No 1 was forced to undergo surgery on his hip in January.

The three-time Grand Slam winner is set to make his long-awaited comeback against Nick Kyrgios in the first round at Queen’s on Tuesday and Djokovic has warned Murray to expect a tough mental battle.

“I think the biggest challenge will always be mental,” said Djokovic.

“How to get it out of your head, understand that it’s behind you, that you’re fine now, that you’re healthy and you can focus on your game rather than thinking 50 per cent of the time about whether or not something can happen.”

Djokovic, who has also been handed a wildcard for Queen’s, also believes grass is not the ideal surface for Murray to make his return after a lengthy lay-off.

“I don’t know the state of his hips,” said Djokovic. “But the one thing that could be a bit dangerous is slipping on the grass.

“That’s something that is very unpredictable and grass is always this kind of surface where one wrong footing can make something go wrong, especially in the hips.”