• Australian Open

Murray: Still early stages

ESPN staff
January 18, 2014
Andy Murray overcame Feliciano Lopez in three sets © AP

Andy Murray has admitted he is still feeling his way back towards top gear after moving into the second week of the Australian Open.

Murray underwent back surgery in September, and had only played five matches before the first grand slam of the season got underway earlier this week.

He was dumped out of the Qatar Open in the second round earlier this month, but has impressed in his three matches in Melbourne, overcoming Feliciano Lopez in straight sets to reach the fourth round.

"I was happy with the first and third match, in the second I didn't play particularly well," Murray told Eurosport. "The other two have been pretty good. I struck the ball clean and was moving well.

"I've got to expect to be inconsistent from time to time, to be a bit up and down, because I haven't played loads of matches.

"It's pretty early stages still. I played my first match only three weeks ago. I'm happy with the way it's [his back] held up, and the rest of body too. The matches are going to get tougher physically, so hopefully my body will hold up.

"I do all the same recovery stuff I used to. Maybe I don't have to spend as much time doing it. It's obviously improved since I had surgery, I just have to monitor it and stay on top of it.

"My game won't change massively. There were periods last year when I was playing with minimal pain in my back, and times when I was really struggling.

"During the clay court season I didn't feel comfortable at all, it was affecting my performance, and a little bit post-Wimbledon. I'm feeling better consistently now - that was the whole point of surgery. I would wake up every morning worrying about how my back would feel."

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