The former world No.1 isn't going anywhere as fast as he said he was, but his actions speak louder than his words.
Andy Murray is still far from his best. He's the first to admit it.
The Scotsman was beaten 6: 4: 6: 4 in Cologne on Tuesday by Fernando Verdasco, whom he had beaten in 13 of his last 16 meetings. The Spanish left-handed man is also three years older than him and has won less than a third of Murray's awards.
Murray said afterwards as cited by Sports Central: “I need to practise, I need to play matches and physically I need to get better. “Some things I did a little bit better but overall it was not that much better than the match in Paris [at the French Open where he was beaten by Stan Wawrinka two weeks ago]. “I need to get back to playing my game on the court. I’ve kind of gone away from that a little bit. “I’m maybe making a few more mistakes than usual because of that.
The reality of Murray's continued recovery from two hip surgeries, the second of which was a resurfacing procedure that was never performed on a player who has returned to the top of the single game, is that he will likely never be the player who spent 41 weeks as world number 1 in 2016 and 2017.
However, this is proof of Murray's sheer determination to play tennis in one form or another, as evidenced by the agonizing but essential viewing of the Amazon Resurfacing documentary, which he still attempts. Part of his brain needs now that this is a somewhat futile chase, although someone who knows him knows that just reading this sentence would probably take him to another year.
Murray isn't going anywhere fast, he says a lot, but his actions say more than his words. He was one of four players this week, with Felix Auger-Aliassime, John Millman and Jeremy Chardy joining the ATP Players Council.
He joins the board which includes Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, in the eye of a tennis storm that's been brewing for some time. The four new members were needed due to the resignation of Novak Djokovic, John Isner, Vasek Pospisil and Sam Querrey, who joined the Association of Professional Competing Tennis Players.
The outlier is more than an independent representation, no matter what the players say. Djokovic has long advocated that players, especially male players, receive a larger share of sales. Pospisil urged Masters level events to open their accounts for players so they can see if they get a fair percentage of the cash prizes. Tournaments naturally refused. There was even talk once of a boycott of Grand Slam players, the rumor of a breakaway tour. None of these options are out of place and the creation of the PTPA does nothing to remove more of it from the game.
Murray's involvement in the current portrayal of the players suggests he plans to be a part of professional play for a while and wants to have a say in how it looks. At 33, he is still waiting for many good years. Like his brother, who himself was a former member of the players' council, he has been passionate about the sport that has been his entire life and he wants to be a part of the leadership he has led.
But above all, he wants to reorient the direction of his own game and continue on the road to full strength. Almost two years after the tearful press conference in Australia in which he appeared to be retiring, Murray is still not writing the final chapters of his career. He hardly seems to think about it..