Cautious Murray casts doubt over his Australian Open participation

Frank Dalleres
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BRITAIN’S Andy Murray admits he is yet to hit a ball almost six weeks after his back operation and fears he may not be ready for the Australian Open.

The Wimbledon champion is desperate to play in Melbourne, where he has reached the final three times in four years, but is adamant he will only enter if he feels able to go one better and win his third grand slam.

“I would be disappointed to miss the Australian Open because it’s a grand slam,” Murray said.

“When I come back I want to be in shape to win it. Whether I make it or not depends on how things go once I get back on the tennis court. I haven’t been on the tennis court yet so I’m not sure.”

Murray went under the knife on 23 September, having aggravated a back problem during the clay court season, making him a high-profile absentee from next week’s World Tour Finals at London’s O2.

The Scot, at Queen’s Club yesterday to launch a new Head racquet, hopes to make a non-competitive comeback at an exhibition event in Barbados at the end of this month if his recovery continues going to plan.

“I haven’t hit any balls yet but all is on track. I’m hoping to hit a couple of balls next week but very few and very light just to see how it is and I will start to progress from there,” he added.

“I have still got quite a way to go until I am 100 per cent. I have been working very hard every single day to get myself back on court as soon as possible so when I’m back on court it will be when I should be.”