Roger Federer has heaped praise on Andy Murray as he did not expect him to be at his current level of competitiveness after his recovery from injury, though the Briton still has a long way to go before returning to the ATP tour.
The Swiss ace was returning the favour to Murray by playing the match for Unicef and the Glasgow charity Sunny-sid3up after the Scot had done the same earlier in the year by playing Federer in the Match for Africa 3 in Zurich.
Murray lost the match 6-3, 3-6, 10-6 in Glasgow but was delighted to have made a successful comeback four months after ending his 2017 campaign due to a hip injury. The three-time men's singles Grand Slam champion will continue his rehabilitation and hopes to make a return in January 2018.
The 31-year-old is hoping to return to action at the Brisbane International and build match fitness leading up the Australian Open, which begins a week after the aforementioned tournament concludes. Federer went out on a limb to say that he believes Murray is progressing as expected and is on course to make a comeback for the Australian Open next year.
"Definitely, he can move better, he can serve better. We know all these things. For a start, I think it was quite encouraging and actually OK. He still has a lot of time before Australia comes around, but only he knows at what level he wants to return to competition. But I thought he was actually pretty good. I didn't expect him to be this good yet," Federer said, as quoted by ESPN.
"In some ways, it was a brave move for Andy to just put himself out there, give it a go [in Glasgow]. Nobody really knew how he was doing. It would have been easy for him to just say, 'You know what, I'll have somebody else play. Tickets are sold out. Roger is coming. I can make somebody else play Roger maybe. It will be still maybe a successful story.'"