Published: Mon, January 14, 2019
Sports | By Johanna Francis

Australian Open: Battle of the giants begins for Federer, Nadal and Djokovic

Australian Open: Battle of the giants begins for Federer, Nadal and Djokovic

Bautista Agut, who beat world number one Novak Djokovic on his way to winning the Qatar Open last week, says he still expects a tough match, despite knowing Murray is feeling pain when he plays and could quit if he loses.

He has reached the final five times at the Australian Open but never won the title.

Murray, 31, announced on Friday that he meant to quit tennis after Wimbledon but also said that injury may prevent him from playing beyond this month's Australian Open.

"Yeah, of course is very bad news", Nadal said of Murray's tearful news conference the previous day.

"I was pretty young when she first won Wimbledon, I have always looked up to her and it will be pretty cool to play her".

Murray's support for women and the women's game was also appreciated by British No 1 Konta, who said: "There have been so many examples of when he has stood up for us - not just for women's tennis but women in general". I am a positive guy.

"I didn't want to think that much about that match because it was really painful to lose it, but I learned some things from that match", she said. You can see it, it's quite obvious when you see her on the court, how she moves.

Federer has credited improvements in travel, in nutrition and in life balance for giving modern tennis players the ability to extend their careers well into their 30s.

Wins at Wimbledon and the US Open last summer propelled Djokovic back to the top of the pile, an fantastic achievement having dropped out of the top 20 earlier in the year as he recovered from elbow surgery.

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"Putting shoes on, socks on, things like that".

Murray has always been a voice for gender equality, often speaking up for women players. "But he's 31 - 10 years ago, if he retired at 31, we will say he had a great and very long career", Nadal said. "We are very fond of him and he is a great person to have around the club". But today is him, tomorrow another one. Tomorrow another one. We are not 20 anymore. Among them, the three have won 51 Grand Slam titles and, perhaps even more remarkably as the next generation has begun to show signs of coming through, they have picked off the past eight, too.

Doubts about the second seed's ability to withstand seven matches on hardcourts were reinforced when he retired in the U.S. Open semi-final against Juan Martin del Potro past year. "Les Petite As". First time we met and played.

Nadal will open against Australian James Duckworth in the second match Monday on Rod Laver Arena.

Murray is due to play Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut in the first round of the Australian Open on Monday - a match which may turn out to be his last.

Karolina Pliskova, Venus Williams and Garbine Muguruza are the other big names in their section of the draw.

HIBS have paid tribute to Sir Andy Murray for his "incredible" career and the help he has offered two of the club's rising stars.

"His record is phenomenal and he did it all not only with humility and good grace, but also with a dry sense of humour that marks him out as a true Scot".

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