ANDY Murray told reporters in the United States last night hat he IS still considering a singles return in time for next month's US Open.

The 32-year-old former World No 1, six months out from undergoing a hip resurfacing procedure, has so far only been prepared to test the joint out in doubles competitions and seemed to indicate at Wimbledon that the final Grand Slam of the year, at Flushing Meadows, may come too soon for him. Practice on the singles court since then seems to have progressed well, however, judging by the Scot's comments that his "best case scenario" remained making his singles comeback in just a few weeks' time at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, an ATP Masters 1000 event that begins on August 11.

Murray, who is scheduled for a Wednesday start against much-vaunted French pairing Nicolas Mahut and Edouard Roger-Vasselin as he plays doubles this week with his brother Jamie at the Citi Open in Washington, played a set of singles in practice on Sunday and about eight games on Monday.

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“In terms of how I'm moving and feeling and pulling up the next day from these practices, I'm really happy with where I'm at," said the Scot. "I think I'm quite close. If I was to play a tournament in a few weeks' time, I could do it. But it's just to get to maybe where I want to get to, I'll need to play matches and get a little bit more work done in the gym on my cardio.”

“What I'm doing here is, for the most part, I'm going to practise singles and play doubles to compete and then just each week I'm just going to see," he added. "If I keep progressing and I feel good in three weeks' time, then I'll play singles as soon as I'm ready. I'm not quite ready at this week, but I hope at some stage soon I will be."

If he isn't able to make his singles return in Cincinnati, Murray will most likely wait until after the US Open to return to play singles and will continue to play doubles, including in New York. Currently scheduled to play doubles with Lopez at next week's Coupe Rogers, a Masters 1000 event in Montreal, an alternative venue for a singles return is an LTA Challenger event in Glasgow named the Murray trophy in his family's honour.

“Best-case scenario probably would be Cincinnati, and then if I wasn't able to play in Cincinnati, there's a good chance I would probably wait until after New York because I wouldn't want my first tournament to be playing best of five [sets],” Murray said.

Washington was a poignant event for the younger Murray sibling last year, whose hopes of a recovery after hip problems were dashed. Beating Kyle Edmund in three sets en route to reaching the quarter finals, he was forced into an emotional withdrawal after his third round match against Romanian Marius Copil finished at 3:02 a.m. local time.

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“I actually saw the end of that match a couple of weeks ago," the Scot said. "I couldn't walk. I was watching myself walk, and I was like 'Wow'. It was really bad. I was struggling a lot. I don't know how I really got through the match in the end. I was upset because my hip was really, really painful,” Murray said.

A source of support as he battles back from this most recent hip procedure, has been doubles expert Bob Bryan, who has been able to return to action after undergoing a similar procedure. “He was like my guinea pig. I was messaging him two, three times a week, asking how he was getting on, trying to find out if it was potentially an option for me to give it a go. We're not unbelievably close, but I communicated with him loads over that period,” Murray said. “He's done extremely well to get back to the level that he's playing at. And I'm glad he did it, because if it wasn't for him I wouldn't have maybe given it a go even.”