Andy Murray may have been through injury hell, but nothing like Aussie opponent James Duckworth

ANDY MURRAY has been through injury hell — but that is nothing compared to James Duckworth.

The Brit and the Aussie clash for the first time in the US Open first round on Monday with both aiming to get their careers back on track.

 Andy Murray is preparing to return to action after hip surgery

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Andy Murray is preparing to return to action after hip surgery

Three-time Grand Slam champ Murray, 31, is making his first major appearance since undergoing hip surgery in January with no one sure how his body will hold up.

But since the start of 2017, Duckworth, 26, has gone under the knife FIVE times and was ready to quit tennis for good.

The world No 448 knows all about taking to the court full of fitness worries — and he is determined to prey upon Murray’s doubts to send him crashing at Flushing Meadows.

Duckworth said: “Andy has had only one surgery but we both have a bit of an understanding of what it’s like to be out of the game for an extended period and we’re trying to get back and getting used to playing matches day in, day out.

 His opponent James Duckworth has had an even harder return from injury

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His opponent James Duckworth has had an even harder return from injury
 Murray is preparing to appear at Flushing Meadows

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Murray is preparing to appear at Flushing Meadows

“It can be a tough road and when you return it’s on your mind because you don’t know how your body is going to react.

“I’ve been on a pretty rough journey with five surgeries — three on my foot, one on my shoulder and one on my elbow — since the start of 2017.

“I played the Australian Open in 2017 and didn’t play the rest of the year and then I played the Australian Open this year before a couple more surgeries on my foot and elbow within a week of each other.

“In the last month I’ve been feeling good but in the first few weeks I was pulling up and a bit sore in certain areas but that’s relatively normal after not putting your body through match situations.

 World No 448 Duckworth has undergone surgery five times

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World No 448 Duckworth has undergone surgery five times

"You can do as much training as possible but playing a match and seeing how you recover is different. I’m getting used to it again.”

Murray has played just seven three-set matches this year and was seen limping around the court at times.

His last Slam appearance was at Wimbledon 2017 when he crashed out in the last eight to American Sam Querrey.

Duckworth added: “My best chance against Andy would have been at Queen’s in his first week back but he hasn’t played a best-of-five set match for a long time so this is as good a time as any.

“It’s a tough challenge but I’m looking forward to it.

“I’m an aggressive player and that won’t change because he’s coming back from injury. If I’d played Murray at his peak then my chances of winning would have been slim. I’ve got a better chance now but it will still be an uphill battle.”

Brit No 1 Kyle Edmund, Cam Norrie and Heather Watson join Murray in action on Monday, with Jo Konta, currently ranked 46th in the world, playing Tuesday.

 British No1 Kyle Edmund is also in action on Monday

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British No1 Kyle Edmund is also in action on Monday

Konta, who is unseeded after tumbling down the rankings, faces a tough task against French world No 6 Caroline Garcia.

She said: “This is a good opportunity to play against someone who’s at the top of the game right now.

“For me, it’s just about keeping healthy and playing as much as I can and keep getting consecutive matches under my belt and keep building myself up to the best level that I can.”

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ANDY MURRAY has been through injury hell — but that is nothing compared to James Duckworth.