Murray in line for Australian Open after scheduling December return

BRITISH No1 Andy Murray boosted his prospects of appearing at the Australian Open in January, by announcing his intention to return to the court in Doha in December.

The world No4 has not played since Britain’s victorious Davis Cup play-off against Croatia in September, following surgery on his back.

But, Murray posted a picture on his official Facebook page of him training at Crandon Park Tennis Center in Florida this week and has announced his intention to kick-off the 2014 season at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open, where he has won twice previously.

Murray missed the summer’s French Open and recent ATP World Tour finals at the O2 Arena due to his lower back complaint.

Meanwhile, Britain’s leading women’s tennis player Laura Robson has selected American Nick Saviano as her new coach.

Robson had been without a coach since October, following her split from Miles Maclagan after a string of poor results, but will work with the well-respected former world top 50 player ahead of her season opener at the ASB Classic in New Zealand on New Year’s Eve.

The 19-year-old has been training at Saviano’s academy in Florida during the off-season, where promising world No32 Eugenie Bouchard is also based.

Saviano, 57, is expected to follow Bouchard to tournaments, leaving his assistant Jesse Witten to work as Robson’s coach and hitting partner during these times.