Britain's Andy Murray insists he will not let impending fatherhood affect his game at the Australian Open this week despite pledging to abandon the tournament if wife Kim goes into labour prematurely.
Murray, who begins the year’s first grand slam on Tuesday with a first-round match against German teenager Alexander Zverev, is adamant that he remains single-minded when on court.
“It’s a big change coming,” said the world No2. “I’ve never been in this position before so it’s something new to deal with, but when I’m on the practice court I’m always very focused, and when I’m training I’m not distracted on that side of things. Obviously after you’ve practised and when you’re away from the court it’s a bit different.”
Murray plans to take time off in February, when his first child is due, but has said he will pull out of the Australian Open, where he is a four-time runner-up, if the baby comes before the end of the tournament.
The Scot’s first assignment is 6ft 6in Zverev, 18, winner of the junior title in Melbourne two years ago but who lost to Murray 6-3, 6-4 in their sole meeting, at the Hopman Cup earlier this month.
“I know him reasonably well,” Murray added. “He’s a big guy for his age – of the young guys coming through by far the tallest of them – which has benefits and at the age he’s at just now can cause a few issues too until you fill out into your physique.
“He’s got a very good game, serves well, and for a big guy moves pretty well too. He’s improving all the time, he finished last year well. It will be a tough match.”