Murray due at Australian Open
Andy Murray is due to begin his first round match at the Australian Open shortly – days after announcing that he is to retire this year because of a chronic hip condition.
The three-times Grand Slam champion is set to face Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut at Melbourne Park in what could well be the final match of the 31-year-old’s glittering career.
The former world number one said he would like to finish his career at Wimbledon, but admitted the Australian Open could be his last tournament.
Ahead of his evening clash with Bautista Agut, Murray said his troublesome hip had stacked the odds against him.
He told journalists: “I know I’ve got no chance of winning this tournament and most likely I’m going to lose in the first round.
“I’m not happy about that. Because of the way the last six months of competing have gone, I could win but it’s likely that I won’t. It’s going to be uncomfortable.
“If it is my last match, I want to try and enjoy it – enjoy the whole experience, which is maybe something during my career that I’ve not done. I’ve always been focused on tactics and winning and finding a way.”
Sky News sports correspondent Martha Kelner said from Melbourne as Murray practised on the court behind her: “Andy Murray’s moving quite nicely.
“His team said to me that he’s hitting the ball almost as well as he ever has done this week.”
Kelner said Murray was being watched by his mother and by “an army of enthusiastic fans”.
Murray has never lost in three meetings with Bautista Agut and last beat the 22nd seed in the Shanghai Masters final in 2016, when the Scot was at his peak having just won his second Wimbledon title and Olympic gold in Rio.
Both players’ fortunes have changed since they last faced each other over the net.
Bautista Agut is coming off an impressive run in Doha, where he beat Stan Wawrinka, Novak Djokovic and Tomas Berdych en route to winning the title.
Murray, in contrast, is ranked 230th in the world and was beaten in straight sets by Russia’s Daniil Medvedev at the Brisbane International warm-up.
:: Sky News will be reporting live from the Australian Open where Andy Murray will be playing his first match of the tournament from around 7am UK time