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World Tennis Championship - Andy Murray easily beaten in worrying injury comeback Featured

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Published in Tennis
Saturday, 30 December 2017 07:46

Andy Murray was comfortably beaten 6-2 by Roberto Bautista Agut in a one-set exhibition match at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Dubai.

The British number one has not played competitively since Wimbledon in July 2017 due to a season-ending hip injury but looked very rusty less than three weeks before the Australian Open.
Despite six months of rest and rehabilitation, his movement appeared hesitant and stilted as the Spaniard Bautista Agut easily outmanoeuvred him.

Murray showed some fight to win a 12-minute service game at 1-5, and saved three match points, but looked worryingly short of his best. Nonetheless, the Scotsman travelled on to Brisbane on Friday night to take part in the Australian Open warm-up tournament.
The former world number one, now ranked 16, said: "I felt better as it went along - obviously a bit slow at the start. Roberto is one of the best players in the world and when you haven't competed for a long while it takes time to get back up to that pace.

"I started to feel a bit better towards the end, but I'll need to keep improving for sure."

Murray was himself a late replacement for Novak Djokovic, who withdrew with an elbow injury.

With Rafa Nadal missing Brisbane due to a knee complaint, fans hoping to see tennis’s ‘Big Four’ back together in Melbourne could be disappointed.

Only Roger Federer, who competes in the Hopman Cup in Perth this weekend, is currently injury-free among the men’s game’s biggest stars.

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    Andy Murray could miss the tournament in Brisbane he had been targeting for a comeback, according to reports.

    Because of a hip problem, the three-time grand slam winner has not played competitively since making a quarter-final exit at this year's Wimbledon.
    Murray had hoped to be fit for the 2018 season kick-off with an appearance at the Brisbane International, which starts on December 31, ahead of the Australian Open that begins on January 15.

    But it has been reported that, with the Scot still in the UK, concerns are growing that he is behind schedule in his preparation and may not be ready for the start of the season.
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    The 30-year-old played an exhibition match against Roger Federer at his Andy Murray Live charity event in Glasgow last month.

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    "Coming into the beginning of the new year I will be at a bit of a disadvantage because I have not played matches for a long time.
    "So, if I can go there a bit earlier to get used to the conditions, a bit sooner than some of the other players, that might help level it up a bit."

    Murray also said at that time: "Things have been going pretty well so far in the rehab, but you just never know.

    "I've been training for a few weeks now. Some days I've felt great and some days not so good.

    "But I will come back when I'm ready and when I'm 100 per cent fit. I probably made a bit of a mistake trying to get ready for the US Open but it was the last major of the year and I wanted to give it a go.

    "And now it's time to give my body the rest and recovery it needs. I'll come back when I'm ready."

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