Tennis: Tennis-Murray finds spark before long-awaited return to Melbourne Park


MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Tears, ache and a defiant five-set loss marked Andy Murray’s final look on the Australian Open however the Scot will stroll Melbourne Park’s grounds with a constructive outlook for the primary time in three years.

On Sunday, Murray performed his first ATP remaining since Antwerp in 2019. Although he misplaced in straight units to Russian bruiser Aslan Karatsev on the Sydney Tennis Classic, it was an encouraging begin to the yr for the Briton.

“There are many constructive issues to having good runs in these tournaments,” Murray instructed reporters.

“I did not have to fear a lot about that before.”

Since main surgical procedure on his troublesome hip in 2019, little has come straightforward to the 34-year-old who gained the final of his three Grand Slam titles at Wimbledon in 2016.

His final match at Melbourne Park was a grinding five-set defeat by Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut the place he gave every part he had.

At his pre-match media convention, he had sobbed uncontrollably, revealing his hip ache was so dangerous that he thought his profession could be over.

Another health setback noticed him miss the 2020 match and final yr it was a COVID-19 an infection and Australia’s strict 14-day quarantine rule that scuttled his return.

Now, he arrives at Melbourne Park with a wildcard and a rating outdoors the highest 100, a far cry from his halcyon days as a feared competitor who reached the ultimate 5 occasions.

He faces Georgia’s twenty first seed Nikoloz Basilashvili within the first spherical on Tuesday and is glad for the momentum inbuilt Sydney heading into a difficult opening conflict.

“I’ve put a lot work and energy into getting again into these positions and to be competing for tournaments once more,” stated Murray.

“It’s not a aim of mine to get to a particular rating, like within the subsequent yr.

“But bettering your rating and getting your self up into the highest 50, high 30, high 20, (it) permits you to be seeded in tournaments.”

(Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Ed Osmond)

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