• Tennis

Murray: I wouldn't expect to win the Australian Open

ESPN staff
January 3, 2014
Andy Murray has reached the final of the Australian Open three times in the last four years © Getty Images

Andy Murray believes it would be "unrealistic" for him to win the Australian Open as the British No. 1 continues his comeback from back surgery.

The Wimbledon champion returned to action for the first time in over three months on Boxing Day at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship, and played a couple of matches before heading to the Qatar Open for the opening event of the 2014 season.

However, Murray was beaten by Florian Mayer in the second round, but goes to the Australian Open not knowing how he will play, as he does not expect to have a productive fortnight at the event where he has reached the final three times and the semi-finals once in the past four years.

"It's tough to gauge. The way I was playing for half the match against Mayer I would be very happy with, but being able to maintain that for five sets is tricky," Murray told the Independent.

"Having a day off between matches would help me and also I'm going to get fitter by playing matches, so there's a possibility that if I can get through a couple of rounds I'll start to feel better as the tournament goes on. My body will start to feel better."

Murray missed the final few months of the 2013 campaign after undergoing an operation on a back problem which hampered him for much of the year.

And the two-time major winner is not sure of his chances of triumphing Down Under: "But in terms of expectations I have no idea, to be honest. I wouldn't like to say whether I'd be happy reaching the second week, or winning it, or whatever. I'll have to see how the next 10 days or so go. You can get a lot done in that time.

"I wouldn't expect to win the Australian Open. I'm just saying that I know that I've trained hard and physically I've done a lot of good work. But here was a perfect example of how you can be the fittest guy in the world but if you don't play matches it's completely different to anything we do in the gym or anything like that. It would be unrealistic to expect to win the Australian Open, but I may start to feel better if I can get through a match or two."

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