The 35-year-old Brit came from a set down to beat World No 97 Zhang Zhizhen at the Kooyong Classic in Melbourne running out 2-6, 6-3, 10-2 winner. Murray had a lengthy spell out of tennis after undergoing hip resurfacing surgery in 2019 and hasn’t won a Grand Slam tournament since.
The former World No 1 goes into the new season ranked at 49 after failing to get past the third round in last year’s Grand Slams. The tough going at majors has given rise to speculation over his future, but Murray says so long as he’s injury free and enjoying playing he will carry on competing.
“I’ve been healthy the last seven months,” he said after taking victory in Melbourne. “I’m not awakening with aches and pains like in the last few years. As long as the body holds up well and I’m training properly and performing to a level I’m enjoying, then I will keep going. But I don’t have a timeframe [for retirement].
After winning his first round match in the eight-player Kooyong Classic tournament, Murray will now face Australian Alex de Minaur in the last four on Thursday. Murray has been a five-time beaten finalist at the Australian Open, and will be in Monday’s main draw.
The British star spent three weeks in America before Christmas preparing for the first Grand Slam tournament of the season.
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“I spent three weeks in Florida, getting my body right and getting some work done on my game and it went really well,” said Murray at last month’s Battle of the Brits exhibition tournament.
“I’m certainly in better shape than I was. A lot of work was done in the gym, trying to build up my endurance and my stamina a bit and I’m hoping that’s going to help me next year.”
However, Murray admitted that a major injury at this point in his illustrious career would probably result in retirement. He added: “I can’t look so far in advance with the age I’m at and with the issues I’ve had. If I was to have a big injury, I probably wouldn’t try to come back from that.”