Andy Murray opens his Australian Open campaign against Roberto Bautista Agut

Arnold Nichols
January 11, 2019

The former world number one has been beset by injury since 2017, sitting out for six months before undergoing surgery in January 2018 and playing just a handful of matches as his ranking plummeted to 230 in the world. "I'm not sure I can play through the pain for another four or five months". "I'm not certain I can play through the pain for another four or five months".

Murray, who has scheduled a news conference on Friday at Melbourne Park, admitted to still feeling pain in his hip before Brisbane.

Asked whether this could turn out to be his last event he replied 'There's a chance of that for sure'.

Six-time Melbourne Park champion Federer, seeded No.3 for his quest for a hat-trick of Australian Open crowns and a record seventh AO titles in all, opens his 2019 campaign against world No. 99 Denis Istomin, while fellow six-time Melbourne victor and men's top seed Novak Djokovic plays a qualifier in the first round. I thought I need to have an end point, because I was playing with no idea of when the pain was going to stop. "I've told my team I want to get to Wimbledon and stop but I'm not certain I can do that". It has been done, [doubles player] Bob Bryan had this operation post-Wimbledon a year ago. Some athletes have had that and come back to competing but there's no guarantees of that.

The update comes after he was convincingly outclassed in a practice session with world No 1 Novak Djokovic on Thursday in which the Serbian won 10 of 12 games.

British number two Heather Watson takes on 31st seed Petra Martic from Croatia while Katie Boulter, playing in her first slam main draw outside of Wimbledon, meets experienced Russian Ekaterina Makarova.

He still plans to partake in Australia, though could not offer an update on whether he will be able to continue after that. He faces tough opposition from defending champion Roger Federer, while Rafa Nadal aims for his first triumph Down Under since 2009.

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