Murray to face 22nd seed Agut in Australian Open singles first round
Tennis

Murray to face 22nd seed Agut in Australian Open singles first round

10 January 2019 / 08:55
Double Olympic champion Andy Murray will face Robert Bautista Agut in the first round of the Australian Open.

The former world number 1 and three-time Grand Slam winner will open his campaign for the tournament against the Spaniard, who is the 22nd seed.

Murray, who won men’s singles golds at the Olympics in 2012 and 2016, has taken victories against Agut in their three matches between the two, including a victory in the final of the 2016 Shanghai Masters.

The British star was not seeded for the draw of this year's opening Grand Slam after missing most of 2018 with injury but was able to enter due to his protected ranking.

He leads a group of six British players who are taking part in the men’s and women’s singles tournaments.

 

The 31-year-old has dropped to a world ranking of 230 after playing in just six tournaments in 2018, where he focused on recovery and rehabilitation following hip surgery.

Murray has reached the Australian Open final five times but has never been lifted the trophy.

Kyle Edmund, the Olympic champion’s replacement as British number one, will play experienced campaigner Tomas Berdych.

The 2016 Olympian is seeded 13th for the draw after gaining a world ranking of 14 following an impressive 2018 and will have high hopes for his clash with the Czech.

Edmund was defeated in the only clash between the two, when Berdych took a 6-3 6-2 win over the Brit at the Qatar Open in 2016.

Cameron Norrie will also feature in the men’s tournament, as he goes up against fellow up-and-comer Taylor Fritz, from America, in his opener.

Britain’s leading female player Johanna Konta will face home-favourite Ajla Tomljanović in the first round, as she looks to match or improve on her semi-final appearance in 2016.

She will face the Australian for the third time in her career, with each player taking one victory.

Both matches took place at the Brisbane International quarter finals, with Tomljanovic taking victory earlier this month while Konta won in last year's tournament.

Her compatriot Heather Watson is also in the draw and will face off with 31-seed Petra Martic while fellow Brit Katie Boulter will go up against Russia’s Ekaterina Makarova.

The tournament begins on Monday, with the singles finals being played on January 26 and 27.
There could still be more British representation in the singles draw as Dan Evans and Harriet Dart have made it through to the third qualifying round, which will be played tomorrow (Friday).

Victory for both would secure them a place to feature alongside their British colleagues in the main tournaments.

Sportsbeat 2019