Andy Murray told what he needs to do for 'really good success' in Australian Open

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Andy Murray is preparing for his first Australian Open appearance in three years. Back in 2019, the former world No 1 gave a tearful press conference in Melbourne Park, admitting it would likely be the final tournament of his career as he had been unable to recover from an ongoing hip injury. Returning in 2022 with a metal joint in his hip and a recent Sydney finals appearance, former pro and Eurosport pundit Barbara Schett shared her expectations for the Brit with Express Sport.

The last time Murray entered the Australian Open, he was the world No 230 who had been struggling with his injury for the better part of two years.

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Then 31-years-old, the Brit collapsed in tears during his pre-tournament press conference as he admitted the 2019 Aussie Open would likely be the final tournament of his career, an unfortunate end beyond his control.

But just weeks after coming back from two-sets-down to force a decider against 22nd seed Roberto Bautista Agut in what he thought would be the last match of his career, Murray underwent a hip resurfacing surgery and later decided to mount a comeback.

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In his first tournament back, the three-time Grand Slam champion paired up with Feliciano Lopez for the doubles at Queens and won the title, and went on to win his first post-surgery singles title at the European Open in October of that year.

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Andy Murray told what he needs to do for 'really good success' in Australian Open
© Getty Andy Murray could reach the Australian Open second-week, according to Barbara Schett

He was unable to make a return at the site of his premature retirement due to injury in 2020 and a positive Covid test in 2021, when he couldn’t find a workabotu quarantine period.

Now, the five-time finalist is back in Melbourne, fresh off the back of two top-25 wins that saw him reach the final in Sydney last week, and a run of form at the end of the 2021 season in which he earned two top-ten wins over Hubert Hurkacz and Jannik Sinner.

The current world No 113 will face Nikoloz Basilashvili at around 4am UK time on Tuesday and could make it the second time in two weeks that he defeats the Georgian, beating him in Sydney last week.

Ahead of his return at the Australian Open, Barbara Schett spoke exclusively to Express Sport about her expectations for the former world No 1.

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“He certainly is [gaining momentum]. It’s great to see him after what he’s been going through with all his hip surgeries and hip injuries,” the former world No 7 said.

“He’s going well, I feel like he’s getting better and better. I still think he doesn’t move quite as well as he used to before that hip injury but he’s hanging in there. He’s dangerous.”

Speaking before Murray made the final in Sydney, the three-time title winner who retired in 2005 said she was already impressed with his level of form against second seed Basilashvili, which will come in handy when Murray takes on the Georgian again in Melbourne.

She added: “He can compete with the best ones again and we’ve seen it also in the last season that he’s been getting better and better the more matches he plays.”

Andy Murray told what he needs to do for 'really good success' in Australian Open
© Discovery Barbara Schett spoke exclusively to Express Sport

But the former pro-turned-pundit was interested to see how Murray would hold up in a Grand Slam, admitting she thought the 34-year-old would be keen to test his level over five sets too.

“It’s just a Grand Slam event obviously is a course of two weeks, you have to play every two days, best of five as well.

“It will be interesting to see how he goes there physically because I think that’s still a big task but he’s keen, he wants to know it.”

Giving her verdict on the three-time Major champion’s upcoming tournament, Schett hoped to see Murray make the second week of a Grand Slam for the first time since his hip resurfacing surgery.

The world No 113 got close in Wimbledon last month, beating his upcoming opponent Basilashvili in the first round and qualifier Oscar Otte in the second before losing in the third round to Denis Shapovalov.

The Austrian, who resides in Australia, added: “He sees 2022 as a fresh start and hopefully we’ll see him in the second week, I think that would already be a really good success for Andy.”

Watch the Australian Open live on discovery+, Eurosport and Eurosport app

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