Murray injury fears raised as Aus Open star takes to practice court

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Andy Murray’s practice session raised some concerns on Saturday as the Brit prepared for his third-round match against Roberto Bautista Agut at the Australian Open. The world No 66 has already spent a staggering 10 hours and 34 minutes on court across his first two matches and looked groggy as he had a hit on the practice court. Retired professional Laura Robson admitted she thought his physical struggles could stop him performing against Bautista Agut.

Murray is into the third round of a Grand Slam for the first time in almost two years, having battled through two marathon five-set matches so far at the Australian Open. Murray broke the record for his longest match and latest career finish in the second round against Thanasi Kokkinakis. The three-time Major champion now faces Bautista Agut but has raised fears that he could be struggling with some physical issues ahead of the match after taking to the practice court.

The former world No 1 looked exhausted as he practised under the watchful eye of coach Ivan Lendl earlier on Saturday, doubling over at the baseline between drills. And Robson admitted that she thought the third round could be too much for Murray, who she revealed had been carrying some blisters for a few days.

“I saw him when he first walked in and then I did see him at the practice courts having a little hit and I’ve got to be honest, he looks pretty sore,” the former world No 27 told Eurosport. “And understandably given the situation finishing unbelievably late the other night. I think that would be tough for anyone let alone someone that’s been through the health issues that he has over the last couple of years.”

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Pointing to the concerning footage of Murray’s practice, Robson added: “So you just see here, walking slightly gingerly. I think he does anyway to be honest but I just think he’s dealing with a few physical issues at the moment.” The 28-year-old – who won Olympic silver with Murray in mixed doubles at the 2012 Olympics – also revealed that she knew he was struggling with some blistering. 

“I know he’s had some blisters that he’s been struggling with over the last few days and it’s not so bad when he’s hitting up and down the middle like this but when he’s changing direction that’s when it starts to really hurt and once you’ve got them it’s so hard to get rid of them during a tournament without taking time off,” she explained.

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Murray has already defied expectations in his opening two matches as he managed to defeat 13th seed Matteo Berrettini in five sets after losing his two-set lead and saving a match point, while he came from two sets and 2-5 down to beat Kokkinakis in a five-hour-45-minute epic at 4.05am, and Robson knew not to count him out despite thinking Saturday’s match could be one too many. 

“I just think it’s going to be a very tough ask today but we thought that the last two matches, didn’t we?” she said. “So with Andy you just never know what he’s going to deliver once he’s on the match court in that live, competitive situation.”

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