Murray dampens expectations of Australian Open success

Sat Jan 11, 2014 2:26am EST
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By Simon Cambers

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Four months after back surgery, Wimbledon champion Andy Murray was understandably cautious on Saturday about his chances of reaching a fourth Australian Open final in five years.

The Briton goes into the first grand slam event of the year having played just two competitive matches since the surgery in September and said it would take him time to hit top form.

"Expectations are a bit different," Murray told reporters in Melbourne. "Obviously 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.

"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.

"But for now they're not going to be obviously as high as they were the last few years. I'll just concentrate on my first match."

Seeded fourth and drawn in the same half as top seed Rafa Nadal and Swiss Roger Federer, Murray begins his campaign against Japan's Go Soeda, ranked 112th in the world.

A kind draw in the first week gives the 26-year-old the chance to ease himself into the tournament, which begins on Monday, and Murray said it was possible he could click into gear fairly quickly.   Continued...

Britain's Andy Murray stretches to hit a shot during an exhibition match against Australia's Lleyton Hewitt at the Kooyong Classic tennis tournament in Melbourne January 10, 2014. REUTERS/David Gray (AUSTRALIA - Tags: SPORT TENNIS)