Less than two days out from his first Grand Slam match of the season, World No. 4 Andy Murray remains understandably modest with regards to his projected performance over the next two weeks. The 26-year-old is coming off minor back surgery, which kept him out of competition since September and is still working his way back to full form.
“Right now I feel like I’m a long way from winning the tournament.” Murray said, speaking to BBC Scotland. “I don’t know how I’m going to feel after playing a five-set match in 40C heat.”
“It will be the first time I’ve done that since the surgery but if I can get myself through a round or two then I’ll maybe start to gain confidence and my body will get used to playing matches again.”
The problem for Murray is the lack of real court time ahead of the season-opening Grand Slam. The Brit has only played two professional matches since returning from his injury, as he lost in the second round in Doha to Florian Mayer. Apart from that, Murray also played three exhibition matches, including a straight sets loss to Lleyton Hewitt in Kooyong on Friday.
With no true ability to gauge his level compared to his elite rivals ahead of the Slam, Murray is keeping his expectations lo, particularly in the early stages of the event.
“I need to be pretty patient with myself and not expect too much. But you never know. I’ve done a lot of training the last few months; it’s just I haven’t played many matches.”
While his expectations may be low ahead of the Australian Open, Murray is still motivated to add to his two Grand Slam titles and stated that his main goal will always be to win as much as possible.
“So if somehow I can work my way into the tournament, feel a little bit better every day, then I might start to raise those expectations. “I still obviously want to try and keep winning as much as possible. That’s always been the goal.”
The Brit is scheduled to meet Japan’s Go Soeda in the opening round in Melbourne.