BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA – All eyes will be on Andy Murray as he makes his return to Brisbane after pulling out this time last year.
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Andy Murray [PR] v James Duckworth [WC] | H2H: Murray leads 1-0
Andy Murray makes his promised return to Brisbane after having to pull out this time last year. Ironically last time he was in the midst of his comeback at the US Open, he faced James Duckworth, himself a victim of several injuries during his career.
In that encounter Duckworth most definitely came to play, and forced Murray into four sets as the Brit struggled to find that match-tightness to close out his break point chances. He needs that same match-fitness now, and in front of a home crowd, will face enough of a challenge.
Murray has admitted that he still feels pain in his hip and has been working hard since calling time on his season in September to recover in time for the new season.
As reported in BBC Sport, Murray told reporters at the Brisbane International: “I need to play matches and see how it feels. Last year when I came here it was tough, I was struggling quite a lot but it feels better than then.
“I would just like to get through the tournaments and feel like I am able to compete and not be restricted by my hip.”
The two-time former champion has been posting Instagram picture of his rehab and that there has been light at the end of the tunnel – so what can we expect in this encounter?
Duckworth approached his US Open match aggressively and with nothing to stop him playing free -he can play with a lot of variation on both his first and second serve but lacks a killer shot off the ground. He was adept at making Murray work hard at the US Open and much in the way Murray used to grind his opponents down.
In New York, Murray’s experience got him over the line but far longer than he wanted to be out on court for. Thankfully the tour is just three sets, but the heat in Brisbane can be absolutely brutal – Murray will want to get off the court as soon as possible.
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