Andy Murray has returned to the Australian Open once again after his retirement announcement and subsequent recovery from injury three years ago.
The former British and World Number One had been expected to attend the ‘Happy Slam’ in 2021 but was forced to miss the event due to testing positive for Covid-19.
Murray returned to the Australian Open just three years on from the emotional retirement speech he made when he believed he had played his last match and beat his opponent, Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-1 3-6 6-4 6-7(5-7) 6-4 to make it through to the next round.
In 2019, after Murray had lost a gruelling and unrelenting four set battle with the number 22 seed Roberto Bautista Agut, the Brit was played a series of video tributes from his contemporaries with the tennis coach, Darren Cahill, saying: “When you search for examples of ‘emptied the bucket to be as good as they could be’, there should be a picture of Andy Murray sitting there.
“Remarkable discipline for training, competition, sacrifice and perfection. A little crazy but a legend of a bloke.”
Playing and living in constant pain, it was thought that the Glaswegian-born tennis player would be saying goodbye to the competitive game forever but the Scot has come back fighting once more and looks unlikely to retire just yet.
2022 has started off with the same mixed success that Murray has seen since 2018. The 34-year-old lost in the first round of the Melbourne Summer Set to Argentina’s Facundo Bagnis before reaching the final in the following week of the Sydney Tennis Classic.
Murray beat Durasovic, Basilashvili, Goffin and Opelka before ultimately losing to Aslan Karatsev in the final.
The Glaswegian-born tennis star has now continued with his strong performances as he endured a three hour and 52 minute match to overcome the big-hitting Georgian tennis player and make it past the first round of the 2022 Australian Open.
Here’s all you need to know about how to follow the former British and World number one at the ‘Happy Slam’...
When is the Australian Open?
The Australian Open got underway on Monday 17 January and will conclude on Sunday 30 January 2022.
When is Andy Murray’s next match?
Murray will play his second round match on Thursday 20 January 2022.
How to watch Andy Murray’s next match
The Australian Open is available to watch on Eurosport 1 (Sky channel 410, BT 435, Virgin 521) or Eurosport 2 (Sky 411, BT 436, Virgin 522).
Matches will also be available to livestream through an online only subscription sport package with Eurosport which costs £6.00/month.
Go to our article on How to watch the Australian Open to find out more.
Who is Andy Murray’s opponent?
Murray will take on the Japanese qualifer Taro Daniel.
Daniel beat Marcelo tomas Barrios Vera in straight sets 7-6 (7-5) 6-1 6-1 to make it through to the second round. In the qualifiers, Daniel defeated Arnaboldi, Moroni and Caruso - all in straight sets - to make it into the competition.
The 28-year-old is currently ranked number 120 in the ATP World rankings and has reached a career high of 64 which he achieved in 2018.
Daniel has one career title to his name. In 2018 the Japanese tennis player defeated Malek Jaziri to win the Istabul Open.
2018 also saw the tennis player defeat Briton Cameron Norrie at the Indian Wells Masters before beating the current world number on Novak Djokovic in three sets.
Murray and Daniel have met once before. In 2016 Murray beat Daniel 6-1 6-3 6-1 in the first round of the WG tournament.
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