Murray can climb into top 20 again: Henman

Darren Walton
World No.126 Andy Murray can climb his way back into the top 20 again, says Tim Henman

He's already completed one of the great sporting comebacks but Andy Murray has yet more unfinished business to tend to as he prepares for an emotional Australian Open return.

Murray feared his career was over when he tearfully conceded before this year's Open that he could no longer bear the excruciating hip pain that reduced the one-time world No.1 to little more than a cripple on court.

But after crowning his stirring comeback from major hip resurfacing surgery in February with ATP title glory in Antwerp last month, Murray is set to unexpectedly take his place in the Melbourne Park draw in January.

"His story has transcended tennis and sport," fellow British tennis great Tim Henman told AAP on Thursday.

"There are so many people around the world that have had new hips and had amazing success individually because they've obviously been in a lot of pain and discomfort and they feel so much better.

"But I don't think there's anyone in the world that's been at the age of 32 who's had a new hip and has wanted to play professional sport, and that's where I think it's given so many people a massive amount of hope."

Henman, hand-picked by Murray to captain Great Britain at the season-opening ATP Cup, said while three-time grand slam champion's revival is inspiring, he's not the least bit surprised.

"I practised with him at Wimbledon in about May and he wasn't moving - he was just standing in one corner - but you just knew that the tennis element wasn't a problem," Henman said.

"He was hitting the ball as well as he's probably ever hit it, but it was just a question of whether his movement would come back and it's come back more and more and I still think there's significant improvement that can happen.

"And that's what's exciting for him and fascinating for the outside world to watch.

"The level he's already played at this year makes it very exciting for next year."

With 35 proving the new 25 in professional tennis, Henman predicts "a good few years in Andy Murray" and won't place a limit on the level the five-times Australian Open finalist can reach in effectively his second coming.

"Next year I see no reason why he can't get back inside the top 20," he said of the now world No.126.

"It's just the element of the unknown. We'll just have to wait and see but knowing him as I do, his spirit and the competitor he is and what an amazing tennis player he is, who knows beyond that.

"He's not ready to retire yet. He's got unfinished business.

"But the best thing anyone can do is to tell Andy that he can't do something because once someone's told him that, then he loves to prove people wrong."