Andy Murray has revealed that he has fully recovered from the elbow injury that kept him out of Great Britain's Davis Cup loss to France and made it clear that it was not the reason he succumbed to Dominic Thiem in the semi-finals of the Barcelona Open last week.
The Scot has struggled for form since capturing the world number one ranking at the end of last season, and has thus far managed to win just one title in 2017 – the Dubai Tennis Championships. Murray has played in three tournaments since - the BNP Paribas Masters where he lost in the second round, the Monte-Carlo Masters where he lost to the eventual finalist in the third round, and most recently in the last four of the Barcelona Open.
Murray has dismissed his elbow troubles for his lack of form and revealed that he has had a sore elbow for over three years. The 29-year-old is not yet at risk of losing his position as the world number one, but will have to begin performing at his best to avoid the chasing pack from closing the gap.
The three-time men's singles Grand Slam champion's next assignment will be at the Madrid Masters beginning on 7 May and Murray has pinpointed his service game as one area that needs improvement ahead of the upcoming tournaments.
"My elbow is always sore, so that's nothing to do with the injury - for the last three or four years, it's always been a bit stiff," Murray said, as quoted by BBC Sport.
"It was great in Barcelona for the amount of tennis I played - I pushed it, playing three hours and then having to come back the next day and play again, and the elbow felt really good.
"I just need to start serving better which hopefully will happen over the next few weeks," the world number one added.
Meanwhile, Murray has weighed in on the dilemma facing the Grand Slam tournament directors about handing Maria Sharapova a wildcard. The Russian, who is returning from a 15-month doping ban has been handed entry into ATP level tournaments, but is yet to receive confirmation with regards to her participation at the French Open and Wimbledon.
The French Open management revealed recently that they will confirm their stance on handing Sharapova a wildcard on 16 May, while Wimbledon is yet to communicate their decision. The five-time women's singles Grand Slam champion can get direct entry into Wimbledon if she wins one of the upcoming WTA events in Madrid and Rome.
"I think there's a good chance Wimbledon would give her one [a wild card] to get into qualifying," Murray said, as quoted by the Times. "I think we've got to wait and see what happens because there might not even be a decision to be made because she might be in the main draw after Madrid or Rome, so there's a good chance she can get in by right."