Andy Murray practices ahead of Australian Open
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Andy Murray has outlined his goals for the 2022 season following his first victory on Australian soil in three years. The former world No 1 is continuing his comeback from a hip resurfacing surgery and managed to gather momentum at the end of 2021 before making a coaching and racket change to refresh himself for the new season.
Murray is set to play the Australian Open for the first time since announcing it would likely be the final tournament of his career in a tearful press conference back in 2019.
After undergoing a hip resurfacing just weeks later, the three-time Major champion has returned Down Under and scored his first win in the country since January 1 2019 on Tuesday, when he defeated Viktor Durasovic 6-3 6-1 in the first round of the Sydney Tennis Classic.
The current world No 135 is looking to build on the momentum he gained at the back-end of last season, when he scored two top ten wins over Hubert Hurkacz and Jannik Sinner, and made two quarter-finals at the Moselle Open and Stockholm Open.
He also secured some impressive victories at last month’s Mubadala World Tennis Championship exhibition, where he defeated compatriot Dan Evans and world No 6 Rafael Nadal before losing to Andrey Rublev in the final.
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Murray got off to a disappointing start this season when he lost to Facundo Bagnis in the first round of the Melbourne Summer Set last week, but defeated world No 345 Durasovic for the second time in just over two months for his first victory of the year.
He now faces second seed Nikoloz Basilashvili, who he defeated in an epic four-set encounter in the first round of Wimbledon last summer, where the Georgian was the 24th seed.
Following his victory on Tuesday, he opened up on his goals for 2022 and set his sights on more titles and match-wins.
“I want, like a short-term one is to try and get to 700 match wins on tour, which I’m hoping I’ll be able to do this year,” he said, with his victory over Durasovic marking his 692nd.
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“And, you know, I want to try and get to 50 tournament wins,” the 46-time title winner added.
With Murray already proving he can beat even the best players on the tour following his top-ten victories and his exhibition win over Nadal, he will be a tough opponent to face in any draw.
His opponents in the upcoming Australian Open have also been warned, as the three-time Grand Slam champion is hoping to go deep in the Major tournaments this season too.
He continued: “I want to try and have a deep run in one of the Majors, as well.
“Hopefully more than one, but, you know, that’s what I want to do. So, yeah, we’ll see how it goes.”
Murray made it to the third-round of Wimbledon last summer after defeating Basilashvili and Oscar Otte, losing to top-ten opponent and eventual semi-finalist Denis Shapovalov.
Whilst he didn’t get past the first round of the US Open, he led third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas by two-sets-to-one and pushed the French Open runner-up to five.
His last Australian Open match came three years ago when he pushed 22nd seed Roberto Bautista Agut to a fifth set, mounting a huge comeback from two-sets-down, while essentially playing with just one hip.
And the five-time runner-up in Melbourne will surely be looking to replace that memory with a positive one, getting another victory under his belt at the site of his premature retirement.
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