Federer and Nadal on collision course in Oz open draw

Virginia Santiago
January 11, 2019

World number one Novak Djokovic gave Andy Murray a stinging reality check in the lead-up to next week's Australian Open, dominating the Briton 6-1 4-1 in a practice match at Melbourne Park on Thursday.

"So I'm not feeling great", Murray said when he returned. Novak and Andy have played 36 times against each other on the Tour and five of those matches came at the Australian Open, never before the semi-final stage and four in the title encounter.

'I'm going to play.

"Not feeling good. Been struggling for a long time", Murray said. "But I don't see him playing if he at least doesn't think he can be a factor in a major".

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While he will compete at the Australian Open, facing Roberto Bautista Agut in the first round, he accepts that there are no guarantees over his fitness from this point as he struggles through the vast pain in his right hip and he may be forced to retire after the first Grand Slam of 2019.

"I've been in a lot of pain for probably about 20 months now". I played him in his prime when he was virtually unbeatable.

He insisted he would still try to play at the Australian Open but added "the pain is too much really".

Speaking ahead of Brisbane, Murray said "I still have some pain in my hip", but that "I'm in a better place than I was a few months ago". Murray has struggled to regain form since undergoing hip surgery last January, and was quickly dismantled by the six-times Australian Open champion at Margaret Court Arena before the players called time on their match after less than an hour.

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Murray is a three-time Major victor, taking the US Open in 2012 and Wimbledon in 2013 and 2016.

"Wimbledon is where I would like to stop playing but I am not certain I am able to do that", Murray added.

Murray has slipped well down to No 230 in the world rankings and has been drawn to face 22nd seed Roberto Bautista Agut in the first round this coming Monday.

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