Andy Murray hails his ‘amazing’ first-round win over Nikoloz Basilashvili at the Australian Open as emotional Brit says ‘it has been a tough three or four years’ since his second career-threatening hip surgery in 2019
- Andy Murray’s tennis career was in doubt after the Australian Open in 2019
- He was struggling badly with his hip and chose to undergo a second operation
- On Tuesday, the 34-year-old won his first Australian Open match in five years
- The Brit beat Nikoloz Basilashvili in five sets 6-1, 3-6, 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-4
An emotional Andy Murray fought back the tears after reaching the Australian Open second round – three years on from considering retiring from the sport he loves at this very tournament.
Murray rolled back the years to produce a vintage display as he beat Nikoloz Basilashvili in five sets 6-1, 3-6, 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 6-4.
The three-hour and 52-minute victory over the big-hitting Georgian was Murray’s first victory in Melbourne for five years.
Andy Murray is through to the Australian Open second round for the first time in five years
The Brit roars with joy after securing victory over Nikiloz Basilashvili in Melbourne
The 34-year-old underwent hip surgery in January 2018 and then 12 months later believed he may have to retire due to the issues he was having with it before he went under the knife once more that in January 2019.
‘It was amazing,’ said Murray in an on-court interview after the match. ‘It has been a tough three or four years.
‘I’ve put in a lot of work to get back here. I have played on this court many times and the atmosphere is incredible. I have always had fantastic support.
‘This is where I thought I had potentially played my last match three years ago but it is amazing to be back, winning a five-set battle like that. I couldn’t ask for any more.’
Asked about his aims for the tournament, the five-time Australian Open runner-up is hoping to go far once more.
The win was an emotional one for Murray, who almost retired from tennis in Melbourne in 2019
‘Hopefully keep improving – there are things in my game I could do better,’ he said.
‘I would like to have a deep run. It’s something I haven’t had since I came back from injury – and I hope I can do it in this tournament.’
It was Murray’s second victory over Basilashvili in the space of a week having beaten him en route to the final of the Sydney Tennis classic.
Murray said: ‘It was a brutal match in Sydney. We played for three hours over three sets. He hits the ball huge from the back of the court. I had to do a lot of running and a lot of defending.
‘He is not the sort of guy you want to see next to your name in the draw too often. Obviously there was a little bit of confidence from the win last week and thankfully I managed to get over the line today.’
He is hoping for a deep run in the tournament – where he has finished as a runner-up five times