Former world No. 1 Andy Murray said coming to Australia this year feels special to him as he was extremely disappointed after he was forced to skip last year's Australian Open. Murray tested positive for COVID-19 just before last year's Australian Open and he was forced to miss the opening Grand Slam of the season.
On Tuesday, Murray beat Viktor Durasovic 6-3 6-1 in his Sydney opener. "For me this year coming to Australia feels kind of a bit special, because I just got told that that was the first match I had won here in like over a thousand days (1107)," Murray said, per the Australian Open website.
"I have had a lot of issues and gone through a lot to get back here, and was really disappointed to miss it last year with getting COVID … obviously wanted to come here this year and perform well.
"This feels like the start of an important year for me."
Murray set to play the Australian Open
Murray, a five-time Australian Open runner, is set to play his first Australian Open since 2019.
World No. 135 Murray admitted considering himself for the Australian Open title would be a bit unrealistic. "When I was at my peak it was difficult enough. Unfortunately, I ran into one guy who has won it nine times (Novak Djokovic) and Roger Federer," Murray said.
"I believe I can have a good run there.
If I find a bit of form … who knows?" Murray, who is now mainly getting entries into tournaments through wildcards, is hoping to win 50 titles before he retires. “I won 46 tournaments in my career. My goal is try and reach 50 – whether I do that or not, I don’t know – and then is to have a big run at one of the major events and see what happens,” Murray said.