Andy Murray returns to action on Monday playing doubles with Nenad Zimonjic in Dubai after a five-week break that saw the Scot suffer from a bout of shingles.
The world No1 is playing the DDF tournament for first time since 2015 and just the second time since 2012 when he lost in the final to Roger Federer.
Murray’s last outing was a fourth round defeat to Mischa Zverev at the Australian Open last month. He later discovered he had shingles (a viral infection that causes a painful rash) but says he is now back to full strength.
“I had shingles. It’s not terrible but it’s not great. I just had to go easy for a little while because I wasn’t able to push that hard in training at the beginning when I got back into it. But I’m fine now and been training flat out for the last two and a half weeks really,” Murray told reporters on Sunday at the Jumeirah Creekside hotel.
The 29-year-old added that he does not know if the illness was affecting him in Melbourne and that he was diagnosed upon his return.
Murray’s surprise exit at the Australian Open was his earliest there since 2009 and he admits it was a disappointment. But the three-time grand slam champion has moved on and is hoping to pick up points in the upcoming four weeks where he is only defending a total of 90 points.
“I was obviously disappointed (about losing to Zverev) but it is at the end of a very long six, seven months. It’s unfortunate that a match like that happens at a slam. Obviously if I go back I wish that had happened somewhere else in that six, seven months but if it had done then I wouldn’t have got to No1 last year,” he explains.
“So yeah, maybe look back over the last six, seven months, look to the things that went well, what I could have done differently the last couple of months maybe that could have helped there, and then you move forward.
“The Australian Open finished five weeks ago, I’m not sitting up at night worrying about that match or thinking about that match anymore. I’m trying to get back to playing good tennis here and hopefully I will.”
Murray will commence his singles journey in Dubai against Tunisian Malek Jaziri on Tuesday.
A packed schedule of action gets underway in the men’s tournament on Monday, with both the singles and doubles competitions in full swing.
Andy Murray in the doubles and Roger Federer in the singles will be the main draws.
For Murray, he will be joined by partner Nenad Zimonjic to face fellow Briton and Davis Cup team-mate Dan Evans who will team with Gilles Muller.
Meanwhile, Federer takes on France’s Benoit Paire on centre court later in the evening.
And below, we have the entire order of play for all of Monday’s action.
Angelique Kerber hammered out a 6-3, 6-2 defeat of Ana Konjuh on Thursday to stay in contention for a return to the top WTA ranking at the Dubai Tennis Championships.
Germany's double Grand Slam winner from 2016 can take back the top spot from Serena Williams through a title at the Aviation club on Saturday.
The 29-year-old will first have to get by Elina Svitolina, on course for her own breakthrough into a first-time top 10 ranking if she can win the event.
The Ukrainian reached the final four with a 6-0, 6-4 defeat of Lauren Davis.
Kerber has used Dubai as a building block to repair her modest early season form.