ROGER Federer said last night that Andy Murray would regret it if he rushed his return to full competitive action too soon, writes Stewart Fisher.

After six months off to rehabilitate a knee injury, sustained whilst preparing a bath for his twin daughters, which flared up during last year’s Wimbledon, the Swiss tennis legend, now 36, rolled back the years during 2017, victory at the Australian Open and Wimbledon extended his record Open Era haul of Grand Slams to 19 in a year where he also skipped the French Open.

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The Scot, who withdrew from this year’s US Open at the 11th hour, is on a similar timeline right now as he hopes to get up to speed after the hip problem which flared up at SW19.

His competitive return is scheduled to come on the courts of Brisbane and Melbourne but Federer said last night that the 30-year-old would be wise to exercise caution.

“My best advice is just to get fit again, seriously that’s it,” said Federer. “Take your time, however long it takes, when you come back you want to be at 100 per cent.

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“Otherwise the problem is you feel you just can’t beat the best at the big tournaments. So it’s wise and worthwhile to take the extra week, that extra month maybe.

“I’m sure Andy is going to have a lot of years left, so he shouldn’t hurry but as a professional athlete you always want to come back as quick as possible. You need to have goals but sometimes they need to be postponed.”