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Andy Murray to partner Marcelo Melo in Eastbourne doubles

Former British number one Andy Murray is set to take another step in his comeback from hip surgery by playing with Brazilian Marcelo Melo at Eastbourne next week.

Murray will make his competitive return alongside Spain’s Feliciano Lopez in the doubles at Queen’s this week.

Their match has been pushed back to Thursday after rain washed out play in London on Tuesday.

The 32-year-old Scot had a hip resurfacing operation in January.

The three-time Grand Slam singles champion has linked up with 37-year-old Lopez in a short-term arrangement at Queen’s, playing again just five months after being seemingly resigned to retirement because of the “constant pain” in his hip.

Now he will play with 35-year-old Melo on the south coast, while it has not been confirmed who Murray is set to partner if he plays at Wimbledon next month.

Former world number one doubles player Melo is a two-time Grand Slam men’s doubles champion, having won the 2015 French Open and 2017 Wimbledon titles, and is currently fourth in the doubles rankings.

Murray, whose last match was a five-set defeat by Roberto Bautista Agut in the opening round of the Australian Open in January, has said he still has “quite a lot of work to do” before he can play in singles again.

No player has ever resumed a singles career after a hip resurfacing operation, although American doubles player Bob Bryan returned five months after the surgery in 2018.

The Nature Valley International starts in Eastbourne on Monday, with live coverage across the BBC on television, radio and online.