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Andy Murray encouraged after victory in first Australian Open match

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Andy Murray
Andy Murray Australian Open. Photo/Marca

Despite undergoing hip surgery in 2019, Andy Murray is happy that his efforts have paid off following victory in his first Australian Open match against Nikoloz Basilashvili.

He beat the 21st seed in five sets to advance to the second round of the Australian Open.

The former world No.1 champion said that he was “proud” of his performance in the match. Murray said it felt good to play and win against young players.

Andy Murray Happy

“I think winning matches like today and competing against guys that are around 20, 25 [in the ATP Rankings] is something I am proud of,” he said post-match on Tuesday.

Andy Murray Australian Open

Andy Murray Australian Open. Photo/The Independent

Referring to his recovery journey after surgery, Murray said it was not easy for him to make it to the US Open.

“It’s not easy. I put a lot of work and effort in. Even since the operation [I have had] various issues as well…kept going and days like today make it worthwhile.”

Murray’s victory over Basilashvili was his first in Melbourne since 2017when he reached the fourth round as the top seed and became the fifth finalist in the city’s history.

How Did Andy Murray Play at the Australian Open?

In an intense battle, the wild card displayed excellent movement against Basilashvili. His tactics confused the Georgian who made mistakes with his coverage of the court.

Murray has been keeping a tight eye on this part of his game ever since he began his rehabilitation and return to full fitness earlier this year.

Recalling a past match in Antwerp (2019), he said Tuesday’s victory was reminiscent of the 2019 performance. He confessed to experiencing some difficulties following the match.

He said that he felt pain around the hip and groin area which limited his movement. Since then, Murray retorts, he has not moved as much and in a similar style as he did back then.

However, his moves during his Australian Opening match improved greatly and they account for his splendid progress.

Andy Murray Hopeful

Moving forward, Murray hopes to stay in his best form as the tournament continues.

“The direction is to try to maintain that, and the best way for me to do that is staying healthy for a long time. It’s not as easy for those things just to come back as quickly as they used to when I was younger. So, if I miss a period of time without playing or training, it takes a little bit longer.”

After a heartbreaking five-set loss to Roberto Bautista Agut at the Australian Open in 2019, Murray feared it would be his final appearance at the tournament due to his hip injury.

Murray has won 46 titles on the Tour and has won the Australian Open on three occasions.

Following his return to professional tennis, the World No. 113 returned to the circuit and won Grand Slam matches against Yoshihito Nishioka, Karen Basilashvili, and Oscar Otte.

Murray is yet to move past the first round of a major tournament with a straight-sets victory, which is his next goal.

In his opinion, he says it would be good to win matches a little bit more quickly. An in order to maintain a healthy balance, he must first compete against players in the Top 20.

After this, he must compete against anyone in the Top 50, which is extremely difficult to win.

He further acknowledges that in an attempt to play differently and shorten points, one is likely to make mistakes.

“If you start trying to play a different style of tennis and try to shorten points you maybe make a few more mistakes or maybe don’t break serve as much that also can prolong matches.

“When I look back at a lot of my matches in 2015, 2016, I was quite efficient and clinical when I had opportunities. Hopefully, if I can continue to improve my level, I’ll be able to shorten some of the matches.”

Andy Murray Archysport

Andy Murray Australian Open. Photo/Archy Sport

Who is Andy Murray Playing Next?

The Briton will play Taro Daniel in the following round as he attempts to reach the third round for the 11th time in Melbourne.

The 34-year-old has a 1-0 advantage over the Japanese qualifier in their ATPHead2Head series, which began in 2012.

Speaking of Taro he described him as a ‘solid and good player’ who is swift on the court. Playing against the Japanese will be a proper test for him as ‘Taro’s game has no major weaknesses.

Murray says this is an opportunity for him to keep his performance level in the game.

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