2019 Australian Open: Andy Murray’s last plus who to watch

Understandably, Andy Murray got very emotional when he confirmed that the 2019 Australian Open could be his last tournament because of a hip injury that has hampered him for almost two years.

The three-time Grand Slam champion says he plans to start his opening match against No. 22-ranked Roberto Bautista Agut at the Australian Open, where he has reached the final five times but never won the title.

“I’m going to play (in Australia) — I can still play to the level,” Murray said. “Not a level I’m happy playing at — but also, it’s not just that. The pain is too much really.”

Murray had right hip surgery in January 2018 and, after two brief attempts to return to the tour, played only 12 matches in the year. He has struggled to recapture the staggering on-court form that saw him accumulate three Grand Slam singles crowns amongst his 45 career titles and two Olympic gold medals.

“Yeah, not great,” responded a tearful Murray regarding his physical welfare.

“I’ve been in a lot of pain for about 20 months now. I’ve tried everything I could to get my hip feeling better. It hasn’t helped loads, I’m in a better place than I was six months ago, but I’m still in a lot of pain. It’s been tough.”

Despite his obvious discomfort, Murray insisted he will take to the court to face Bautista Agut next week at Melbourne Park.

“I’m going to play,” he said.

“I can still play to a level, but not to a level that I’m happy at, but also it’s not just that. The pain is too much really. I don’t want to continue playing that way.

“In the middle of my training block back in December I spoke to my team, I told them that I can’t keep doing this, that I needed an end point, because I can’t keep playing with no idea when the pain will stop.”

He returned at the Brisbane International last week, where he won his opening match but lost in the second round to Daniil Medvedev, showing visible signs of limping between points.

The 31-year-old Murray, who ended long Grand Slam droughts for British men and also won the Olympic gold medal, had hoped to play the first half of 2019 and make a run at Wimbledon.

“That’s where I’d like to stop playing … but I’m also not certain I’m able to do that,” Murray said. “I don’t want to continue playing that way. I’ve tried everything I could to get it right and that hasn’t worked.”

Murray held a news conference Friday at Melbourne Park, and had to leave the room for a while soon after it started to compose himself as he fronted the media.

He said he’s considering another hip operation, more to improve his quality of life than as a way to return to the top level in tennis.

“I have the option to have another operation, which is a little bit more severe than I’ve had before, which is having my hip resurfaced. It would allow me to have a better quality of life, to be free of pain.

“That’s something I’m seriously considering right now, to then come back to competing, but there is obviously no guarantee with that.

“The reason to have that operation is not to return to professional sport, it’s just for a better quality of life.”

[pdf-embedder url=”https://movietvtechgeeks.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/2019-Australian-Open-2019-Mens-Singles-Draw.pdf” title=”2019 Australian Open 2019 Men’s Singles Draw”]

Single’s Men To Watch At Australian Open 2019

novak djokovic for australian open 2019 mens tennis


Ranked: 1

Country: Serbia

Age: 31

2018 Match Record: 53-12

2018 Singles Titles: 4

Career Singles Titles: 72

Grand Slam Singles Titles: 14 — Australian Open (2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016), French Open (2016), Wimbledon (2011, 2014, 2015, 2018), U.S. Open (2011, 2015, 2018)

Last 5 Australian Opens: 2018-Lost in 4th Rd, 2017-2nd Rd, 2016-Won Championship, 2015-W, 2014-QF

Aces: Has won an ATP-best 27.4 percent of his return games against top-10 opponents over his career.

Topspin: Had surgery on his right elbow shortly after last year’s early departure in Melbourne and really returned to his best play in the season’s second half, winning Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. … Even if he got off to a slow start to 2019, hard to pick against him getting title No. 7 in Australia.


Ranked: 2

Country: Spain

Age: 32

2018 Match Record: 45-4

2018 Singles Titles: 5

Career Singles Titles: 80

Grand Slam Singles Titles: 17 — Australian Open (2009), French Open (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018), Wimbledon (2008, 2010), U.S. Open (2010, 2013, 2017)

Last 5 Australian Opens: 2018-QF, 2017-Runner-Up, 2016-1st, 2015-QF, 2014-RU

Aces: Led ATP by winning 36.6 percent of return games in 2018; no one else was even at 31 percent.

Topspin: Pulled out of Brisbane tuneup event, citing a strained thigh muscle, so fitness in Melbourne will be worth keeping an eye on early. … Hard courts give his body trouble, but if he’s OK, could make a deep run at only Slam he hasn’t won at least twice.

roger federer playing with rafael nadals balls at australian open 209ROGER FEDERER

Ranked: 3

Country: Switzerland

Age: 37

2018 Match Record: 48-10

2018 Singles Titles: 4

Career Singles Titles: 99

Grand Slam Singles Titles: 20 — Australian Open (2004, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2017, 2018), French Open (2009), Wimbledon (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012, 2017), U.S. Open (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008)

Last 5 Australian Opens: 2018-W, 2017-W, 2016-SF, 2015-3rd, 2014-SF


Ranked: 4

Country: Germany

Age: 21

2018 Match Record: 58-19

2018 Singles Titles: 4

Career Singles Titles: 10

Grand Slam Singles Titles: 0 — Best: QF, French Open (2018)

Last 5 Australian Opens: 2018-3rd, 2017-3rd, 2016-1st, 2015-Did Not Play, 2014-DNP

Aces: Now working with Ivan Lendl, an eight-time major champ as a player and former coach of Andy Murray. … Only 44th-best at saving break points last season, doing so just 58 percent of the time.

Topspin: Supremely talented, but biggest impediment to reaching the last weekend of a major seems to be health; pulled out of tuneup in Adelaide after hurting a hamstring in practice.


Ranked: 6

Country: South Africa

Age: 32

2018 Match Record: 47-19

2018 Singles Titles: 2

Career Singles Titles: 6

Grand Slam Singles Titles: 0 — Best: RU, U.S. Open (2017), Wimbledon (2018)

Last 5 Australian Opens: 2018-1st, 2017-DNP, 2016-1st, 2015-4th, 2014-4th

Aces: At 6-foot-8 (2.03 meters), can deliver dangerous serves with the best of them. His 1,082 aces ranked second on tour in 2018.

Topspin: Seemingly has a game built for success in Melbourne, but hasn’t won a match there in four years. With confidence built from runs to finals at two of the past five majors, could he be ready to do some damage at this one?

dominic thiem at australian open smile hitting ballsDOMINIC THIEM

Ranked: 8

Country: Austria

Age: 25

2018 Match Record: 54-20

2018 Singles Titles: 3

Career Singles Titles: 11

Grand Slam Singles Titles: 0 — Best: RU, French Open (2018)

Last 5 Australian Opens: 2018-4th, 2017-4th, 2016-3rd, 2015-1st, 2014-2nd

Aces: Only two career titles have come on hard courts; eight on clay, where he managed to beat Nadal last year and also reached his first major final.

Topspin: A physical presence on court who can bully an opponent during baseline exchanges, certainly capable of sticking around into the second week in Australia.

kei nishikori at australian open 2019KEI NISHIKORI

Ranked: 9

Country: Japan

Age: 29

2018 Match Record: 43-21

2018 Singles Titles: 0

Career Singles Titles: 12

Grand Slam Singles Titles: 0 — Best: RU, U.S. Open (2014)

Last 5 Australian Opens: 2018-DNP, 2017-4th, 2016-QF, 2015-QF, 2014-4th

Aces: Held in 81.4 percent of his service games last season, the lowest rate of any member of the year-end top 10.

Topspin: If the bracket breaks in his favor, could make a deep run. Past four exits in Melbourne came against Federer, Djokovic, Nadal and Wawrinka, who’ve all won the tournament.


Ranked: 10

Country: United States

Age: 33

2018 Match Record: 34-22

2018 Singles Titles: 2

Career Singles Titles: 14

Grand Slam Singles Titles: 0 — Best: SF, Wimbledon (2018)

Last 5 Australian Opens: 2018-1st, 2017-2nd, 2016-4th, 2015-3rd, 2014-1st

Aces: Led ATP last year by winning 93.6 percent of his service games. … Led tour with 1,213 aces in 2018.

Topspin: After quick exit in Australia, wound up having best season of career in 2018; maybe he channels last year’s Grand Slam success at Wimbledon, U.S. Open and making his first quarterfinal in Melbourne.

stefanos tsitsipas bent over showing bulge at australian open 2019STEFANOS TSISIPAS

Ranked: 15

Country: Greece

Age: 20

2018 Match Record: 46-27

2018 Singles Titles: 1

Career Singles Titles: 1

Grand Slam Singles Titles: 0 — Best: 4th, Wimbledon (’18)

Last 5 Australian Opens: 2018-1st, 2017-DNP, 2016-DNP, 2015-DNP, 2014-DNP

Aces: Will be making just his seventh career appearance in the main draw of a major tournament. … One of the brightest young up-and-coming stars on tour.

Topspin: A terrific mover at 6-foot-4 (1.93 meters), uses a big forehand and good hands at the net. Probably needs to improve his serve to take the next step into the top 10.

nick kyrgios sees stefanos tsitsipas bulge responde australian openNICK KYRGIOS

Ranked: 51

Country: Australia

Age: 23

2018 Match Record: 25-13

2018 Singles Titles: 1

Career Singles Titles: 4

Grand Slam Singles Titles: 0 — Best: QF, Australian Open (’15), Wimbledon (’14)

Last 5 Australian Opens: 2018-4th, 2017-2nd, 2016-3rd, 2015-QF, 2014-2nd

Aces: 44 aces in match at Brisbane to open year, only one shy of record for an ATP three-setter. … Averaged 19.8 aces per match last season.

Topspin: As talented and mercurial as they come, as liable to beat one of the Big 3 in the second week as he is to bow out in the early rounds.