Andy Murray has hinted he will keep going until at least this summer’s Olympics.

The 36-year-old has been speaking openly about the impending end of his career this season and said after beating Denis Shapovalov in Dubai on Monday: “I probably don’t have too long left, but I’ll do as best as I can these last few months.”

Murray has said previously he has an idea of when he would like to bow out, and he told Radio 4’s Today programme he is likely to make that information public at some point.

“When the time is right I will probably say something before I play my last match and my last tournament,” he said. “Whether I say anything months ahead of the time, I don’t know.”

While Wimbledon appears the most logical venue for Murray to call time on his glittering career, the Scot is tempted by another crack at the Olympics in Paris this summer.

Murray is the only tennis player to have won back-to-back singles gold medals, in London and Rio, and he said: “Hopefully I can get the chance to compete at another one.”

If the Scot does not qualifying by ranking – he has slipped down the standings to 67 after a difficult start to the year – he could seek a spot in the draw as a previous champion.

Sixteen-year-old Mirra Andreeva made her latest statement with a miracle comeback to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open – but that was topped by knowing Andy Murray was watching her.

Andreeva and Murray interacted after the Russian teenager spoke of her admiration for the former world number one at her breakthrough tournament in Madrid last spring, describing him as “beautiful”.

And Murray was up early back home in the UK following Andreeva’s progress as she took on France’s Diane Parry.

The teenager’s run looked poised to end when she trailed 5-1 in the third set and struggled to hold back tears, but Andreeva kept fighting and saved a match point on her way to a 1-6 6-1 7-6 (10/5) victory.

Afterwards, Murray wrote on the social media site X, formerly Twitter: “Andreeva down 5-1 in third. Commentator “she really needs to work on mental side of her game.. she’s too hard on herself when she’s losing” 30 minutes later 7-6 Andreeva wins.

“Maybe the reason she turned the match round is because of her mental strength. Maybe she turned the match around because she is hard on herself and demands more of herself when she’s losing/playing badly? Winner.”

Andreeva was delighted by Murray’s attention, saying: “I didn’t really think that he would watch a match, then after he would tweet, he would comment something.

“Honestly, I will try to print it out somehow. I don’t know, I will put it in a frame. I will bring it everywhere with me. I will maybe put it on the wall so I can see it every day.”

It is the second time Andreeva, who was beaten in the junior final here 12 months ago, has reached the fourth round at a slam after Wimbledon last year and she is closing in on the top 30 in the rankings despite being restricted to 12 tournaments a year because of her age.

She showed all the skills that make her the most exciting young talent in the world to turn around the deciding set, dragging Parry all around the court with her use of angles and showing deft touch on drop shots and lobs.

“Because I won the last time I played her, I had kind of an advantage,” said Andreeva. “I felt like that maybe I should win because I won pretty easy on the score.

“When you think like this, it always happens like 1-6 in the first set. Then I just decided fight, to win one game at a time.

“Maybe being harsh on myself actually helped me. I just try to think positively. This harshness, let’s say, helped me with it because I am not very positive in my head usually. I just kept pushing myself. I was saying not good words to myself.”

A number of upsets have left the women’s draw very open in places, although Andreeva would probably have to get past defending champion Aryna Sabalenka in the quarter-finals if she wants to reach the final stages.

“I don’t think it’s a big deal,” she said of her wins so far. “Fourth round, yes, I’m 16, maybe it’s a bit new.

“Fourth round is nothing. Maybe if I win a slam, I have to win three more matches, and it’s really tough to win seven matches in a row. I don’t think that I did something incredible. I have time to do it, I hope.”

Boris Becker would not rule out Andy Murray appearing at the Australian Open in 2025.

Murray will make his 16th appearance in the main draw at Melbourne Park on Monday when he faces 30th seed Tomas Martin Etcheverry in the first round.

It was five years ago at the 2019 Australian Open when three-time grand-slam champion Murray contemplated retirement and a highlights montage shown after his round-one exit appeared to signal the end of his career.

Surgery to resurface his hip followed and while it has enabled the five-time Australian Open runner-up to continue playing well into his thirties, the Scot cut a frustrated figure at the end of 2023.

But Becker had little concern over Murray not appearing in Australia again.

“Well, I would never rule Andy out,” Eurosport pundit Becker insisted. “As long as he has fun, as long as he enjoys it and as long as he has success, he will continue.

“I was worried a couple of years ago when he did the press conference and said it was most likely his last one because it was before his surgery so he didn’t know if he would come back.

“We moved past that and I think he is physically fit enough, but obviously the tennis circuit doesn’t sleep and Andy doesn’t get younger either.

 

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“Those 22-years-old are now those 24-years-olds and Andy is 36 so the clock is ticking.

“I am sure he will do well this year., I am sure he is aiming for a successful Wimbledon and he’ll take it from there.”

At the other end of the spectrum, British number four Jack Draper will aim to make his mark in Melbourne after an injury-hit past campaign.

Draper, 22, recently beat Becker’s protege Holger Rune to win the UTS event in London last month and earned praise from the six-time grand-slam winner.

Becker said: “Look, an unbelievable talent. You can see he loves the competition, he loves tennis, he loves to be out there, but he had some injury problems last year, so he couldn’t play as much as he wanted to.

“He is a big guy, a powerful guy and he needs to address his body. He needs to be longer in the shape he is right now.

“I don’t know him and I don’t know his group of people too well, so I don’t how much he trains on and off the court, but what I could tell is that physically he struggled last year and that is the foundation of a successful tennis player.

“I am sure he learned his lessons, I am sure he had a good winter. I saw the result in Adelaide, he looked fit. I am sure they have done a lot of off-court training and I wish him luck.

“Great Britain needs good, young players. You have got Wimbledon around the corner, you have the Queens tournament so you want your local heroes to be successful there.”

:: Watch every moment of the Australian Open LIVE and exclusive on Eurosport and discovery+ from 14-28 January.

Andy Murray is happy to see tennis finally addressing its late night habit – although he is not ruling out more long days at the Australian Open.

The ATP and WTA announced earlier this week a new scheduling policy restricting the number of matches played per day at tournaments and setting a deadline of 11pm for contests to start.

Murray was involved in one of the latest finishes in grand slam history last year when he completed a five-set win over Thanasi Kokkinakis in the second round of the Australian Open at 4.05am.

The Scot strongly criticised the scheduling afterwards, and the tournament’s response has been to move to a 15-day event, spreading the first round over three days.

There will be a minimum of two matches rather than three in the day session on Rod Laver Arena and Margaret Court Arena but the night session will still feature two matches starting at 7pm.

“I don’t think the Sunday start will change the late finishes,” said Murray. “I think on centre court they’re having two matches in the day, two matches in the evening.

“I think that will reduce the possibility for late finishes on Rod Laver just because it’s unlikely you’re going to have issues with the day session running into the night, then having that gap where they have to clear out the stadium and get the night session fans in.

“My understanding is that on the other show courts that’s not changing, so there still is the possibility for that to happen.”

Murray welcomed the tours’ new rules, saying: “It’s really good. I’ve spoken about it, I’ve heard lots of players and the media, obviously, discussing it for a long time. It just makes sense. It’s a very obvious thing that needs to change.

“I haven’t heard anyone really disagree with that. So it’s positive that there’s going to be some changes made. It will be good for, I think, everyone. It will definitely help with recovery for following day’s matches and things like that.

“I certainly think, for fans and the tournament, it just probably looks a wee bit more professional if you’re not finishing at three or four in the morning.”

Murray is making his 16th appearance in the main draw at Melbourne Park and will take on 30th-seeded Argentinian Tomas Martin Etcheverry in the first round on Monday.

He cut a very frustrated figure at the end of last season and goes into this tournament short on wins but insisted he is feeling happier about his game.

“I definitely feel like I’m enjoying it better,” he said. “I think part of that is the mental side of it. Tennis is a difficult game in that respect. When you’re struggling, you’re obviously out there on your own, it can be difficult at times.

“Also the way you’re playing. When you know you’re capable of doing more than what you are, if you’re not happy with the way you’re hitting forehands and backhands and serving and those sorts of things, there’s the technical aspect as well.

“Fixing some of those problems has helped me feel better on the court. Definitely some focus on the mental side, as well. Reframing the way you look at things definitely, definitely helps.”

Murray and Etcheverry met twice last year, sharing the spoils in two long matches.

“I made most of my matches quite physical last year,” said Murray with a smile. “I know that last year, when I wasn’t serving well, you end up getting into lots more long rallies and everything. Hopefully that’s not the case in a couple of days.”

Novak Djokovic is the greatest male tennis player of all time, according to Marcos Baghdatis.

Djokovic is the most decorated player in the history of the men's game, boasting 24 grand slam triumphs over a magnificent career. Even with Djokovic turning 36 in 2023, the Serbian won three of the four majors on offer throughout the year.

Rival Rafael Nadal, who has the second most grand slam titles among male players with 22, recently conceded Djokovic is the greatest ever.

Baghdatis agrees with Nadal that Djokovic's numbers make him the best of all time, with the 2006 Australian Open runner-up telling Stats Perform: "I think that yes, Rafa is right. He's the GOAT [greatest of all time].

"I mean, statistically, he has the best history written in tennis. Of course, he has written more history than any other player.

"It's tough to say who is the best and who's not. I can say, the three players from Rafa, Roger [Federer] and Djokovic, I think he [Djokovic] is the most complete, if you understand what I mean.

"He's still there, he's still winning matches, still winning Grand Slams.

"So yeah, he's the best of all time because of the stats, but it's very hard to just get the other two out."

Djokovic, Nadal and Federer are often referred to as the 'big three', and Baghdatis believes the trio helped to move tennis forward. However, he also says Andy Murray deserves greater recognition despite failing to match his rivals' grand slam accomplishments.

"I cannot take Andy Murray out of there," Baghdatis said. "Because, you know, he was always taking them to their limits too.

"I think it's a package that these four people changed the sport for the better. Yeah, they helped each other improve themselves, but at the same time, they helped so many other players improve themselves and be better at what they do. So they left a legacy behind."

With Federer retired and Djokovic and Nadal in the latter stages of their careers, Carlos Alcaraz is seen by many as the next potential legend of the sport, having already claimed US Open and Wimbledon glory.

While Baghdatis feels Alcaraz is a great talent, he also believes other youngsters deserve credit, saying: "I'm not saying that Alcaraz cannot [become a legend], of course he has a shot at it. 

"He's young. I think he's great for tennis, he has great energy on the court, a great personality.

"I think maybe right now he's the best of his generation, let's say, but Jannik Sinner, Holger Rune are coming up, [Daniil] Medvedev is still there.

"But it's going to be very tough. I think he has a shot. It's going to be very, very tough to achieve what they [the big three] have achieved."

Emma Raducanu and Andy Murray are among seven British players who have secured direct entry into the Australian Open.

Cameron Norrie is the only seed while Katie Boulter and Jodie Burrage are in the main draw on ranking for the first time.

Here, the PA news agency looks at the British contenders.

Cameron Norrie

The Mr Dependable of British tennis struggled during the second half of last season and admitted he felt a little burned out. Norrie does not have the luxury of a big weapon if his consistent game is not working but there were positive signs at last week’s United Cup, where he beat Alex De Minaur, that he may be close to finding his form again.

Dan Evans

Evans will be unseeded at a grand slam for the first time since 2019 after an inconsistent 2023 campaign ended prematurely by a calf injury. He is fit again and will be keen to try to climb back into the top 30. Now 33, Evans won the biggest title of his career in Washington last summer and also starred for Britain in the Davis Cup.

Andy Murray

It is 12 months since Murray’s extraordinary 4am victory over Thanasi Kokkinakis at Melbourne Park. His performances at the beginning of 2023 fuelled hope that he could push back towards the top of the game but it was largely a season of more frustration. There have been flashes of the old Murray but, at 36, time is very much running out.

Jack Draper

Could this be the year where Draper really makes a name for himself? The 22-year-old has been held back so far by injuries and missed a lot of last season but finished strongly and has all the tools to reach the very top of the game. A run to the fourth round of the US Open last summer is his best grand-slam showing so far.

Emma Raducanu

A raft of withdrawals have allowed Raducanu direct entry using the protected ranking of 103 from before her triple surgery. The hope is this can be a fresh start for the 21-year-old, who looked happy and relaxed on her return to the tour in Auckland last week, and showed in a close defeat to Elina Svitolina that she remains a high-class player.

Katie Boulter

Last season was by a distance the best of Boulter’s career. The 27-year-old won her maiden WTA Tour title in Nottingham and broke into the world’s top 50 for the first time. A supremely clean ball-striker, Boulter claimed the best win of her career over fifth-ranked Jessica Pegula at the United Cup last week for a dream start to 2024.

Jodie Burrage

Beaten by Boulter in the final in Nottingham, Burrage also achieved a long-term goal in 2023 by breaking into the top 100 for the first time. The 24-year-old will make her main-draw debut at Melbourne Park having fallen in the final round of qualifying 12 months ago.

Opportunities abound for returning stars and the usual suspects as the Australian Open kicks off the new grand-slam season.

Hopes that two of the highest-profile major champions would make their slam comebacks after long breaks were dashed when Rafael Nadal announced on Sunday that he had suffered another injury setback.

Having spent a year recovering from the hip injury he sustained in Melbourne 12 months ago, the hope is this latest blow will not prove to be nearly as serious and he can return within weeks.

The Spaniard impressed straight away with his level at the Brisbane International last week prior to a gruelling loss against Jordan Thompson.

 

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Question marks very much remain, though, over how well the 37-year-old’s body will hold up in the long term given the injury problems he has endured throughout his career.

“I have worked very hard during the year for this comeback and as I always mentioned my goal is to be at my best level in three months,” Nadal wrote on social media.

“Within the sad news for me for not being able to play in front of the amazing Melbourne crowds, this is not very bad news and we all remain positive with the evolution for the season.”

Naomi Osaka also returned in Brisbane, playing her first tournament since September 2022 following the birth of daughter Shai in July, and she will be a headline attraction in Melbourne.

 

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The 26-year-old, who won the Australian Open title in 2019 and 2021, was weighing up whether tennis was for her amid mental health struggles prior to her pregnancy but has returned to the tour with renewed desire.

She said after a narrow loss to Karolina Pliskova: “I think when I’m playing and I’m at my best, I’m just really putting my entire soul into every point. It was fun to play that and rediscover that feeling again.”

Also returning after having her first child is former Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open champion Angelique Kerber.

Emma Raducanu’s absence has not been as long as Nadal, Osaka or Kerber’s but it is still a chance for a fresh start for the 21-year-old.

 

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She snuck into the main draw using her protected ranking of 103 following withdrawals and will hope to build on a very promising return in Auckland last week.

“It’s pretty exciting for me,” said Raducanu. “I’ve only played two matches and also my court time has been pretty limited. To be back up to this speed after so little is a great sign. I’m looking forward to this season. It’s just the beginning. A lot more to come.”

Raducanu is one of seven British players in the main draw, with Cameron Norrie the only seed.

It was a difficult second half of 2023 for the British number one but victory over Alex De Minaur at the United Cup was a good way to start the year while Katie Boulter got off to a flyer with the best win of her career against Jessica Pegula.

The 27-year-old has reached the third round at the last two grand slams and will be looking for more of the same.

Andy Murray is a man in need of wins and must hope for a kind draw, while the same could lead to a big fortnight for 22-year-old Jack Draper, with Dan Evans and Jodie Burrage making up the British contingent.

Novak Djokovic will be favourite to claim an 11th Australian Open title, which would make him the first player in history to win 25 grand-slam singles crowns, although a wrist problem is a concern for the Serbian.

Carlos Alcaraz, Jannik Sinner and Daniil Medvedev will be expected to provide the main opposition while in the women’s draw Aryna Sabalenka defends a slam title for the first time.

World number one Iga Swiatek is yet to lift the trophy in Melbourne and has begun 2024 in fine form, as has Coco Gauff, who is the most recent slam champion following her triumph in New York.

Emma Raducanu and Andy Murray are among seven British players who have secured direct entry into the Australian Open.

Cameron Norrie is the only seed while Katie Boulter and Jodie Burrage are in the main draw on ranking for the first time.

Here, the PA news agency looks at the British contenders.

Cameron Norrie

The Mr Dependable of British tennis struggled during the second half of last season and admitted he felt a little burned out. Norrie does not have the luxury of a big weapon if his consistent game is not working but there were positive signs at last week’s United Cup, where he beat Alex De Minaur, that he may be close to finding his form again.

Dan Evans

Evans will be unseeded at a grand slam for the first time since 2019 after an inconsistent 2023 campaign ended prematurely by a calf injury. He is fit again and will be keen to try to climb back into the top 30. Now 33, Evans won the biggest title of his career in Washington last summer and also starred for Britain in the Davis Cup.

Andy Murray

It is 12 months since Murray’s extraordinary 4am victory over Thanasi Kokkinakis at Melbourne Park. His performances at the beginning of 2023 fuelled hope that he could push back towards the top of the game but it was largely a season of more frustration. There have been flashes of the old Murray but, at 36, time is very much running out.

Jack Draper

Could this be the year where Draper really makes a name for himself? The 22-year-old has been held back so far by injuries and missed a lot of last season but finished strongly and has all the tools to reach the very top of the game. A run to the fourth round of the US Open last summer is his best grand-slam showing so far.

Emma Raducanu

A raft of withdrawals have allowed Raducanu direct entry using the protected ranking of 103 from before her triple surgery. The hope is this can be a fresh start for the 21-year-old, who looked happy and relaxed on her return to the tour in Auckland last week, and showed in a close defeat to Elina Svitolina that she remains a high-class player.

Katie Boulter

Last season was by a distance the best of Boulter’s career. The 27-year-old won her maiden WTA Tour title in Nottingham and broke into the world’s top 50 for the first time. A supremely clean ball-striker, Boulter claimed the best win of her career over fifth-ranked Jessica Pegula at the United Cup last week for a dream start to 2024.

Jodie Burrage

Beaten by Boulter in the final in Nottingham, Burrage also achieved a long-term goal in 2023 by breaking into the top 100 for the first time. The 24-year-old will make her main-draw debut at Melbourne Park having fallen in the final round of qualifying 12 months ago.

Opportunities abound for returning stars and the usual suspects as the Australian Open kicks off the new grand-slam season.

Hopes that two of the highest-profile major champions would make their slam comebacks after long breaks were dashed when Rafael Nadal announced on Sunday that he had suffered another injury setback.

Having spent a year recovering from the hip injury he sustained in Melbourne 12 months ago, the hope is this latest blow will not prove to be nearly as serious and he can return within weeks.

The Spaniard impressed straight away with his level at the Brisbane International last week prior to a gruelling loss against Jordan Thompson.

 

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Question marks very much remain, though, over how well the 37-year-old’s body will hold up in the long term given the injury problems he has endured throughout his career.

“I have worked very hard during the year for this comeback and as I always mentioned my goal is to be at my best level in three months,” Nadal wrote on social media.

“Within the sad news for me for not being able to play in front of the amazing Melbourne crowds, this is not very bad news and we all remain positive with the evolution for the season.”

Naomi Osaka also returned in Brisbane, playing her first tournament since September 2022 following the birth of daughter Shai in July, and she will be a headline attraction in Melbourne.

 

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The 26-year-old, who won the Australian Open title in 2019 and 2021, was weighing up whether tennis was for her amid mental health struggles prior to her pregnancy but has returned to the tour with renewed desire.

She said after a narrow loss to Karolina Pliskova: “I think when I’m playing and I’m at my best, I’m just really putting my entire soul into every point. It was fun to play that and rediscover that feeling again.”

Also returning after having her first child is former Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open champion Angelique Kerber.

Emma Raducanu’s absence has not been as long as Nadal, Osaka or Kerber’s but it is still a chance for a fresh start for the 21-year-old.

 

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She snuck into the main draw using her protected ranking of 103 following withdrawals and will hope to build on a very promising return in Auckland last week.

“It’s pretty exciting for me,” said Raducanu. “I’ve only played two matches and also my court time has been pretty limited. To be back up to this speed after so little is a great sign. I’m looking forward to this season. It’s just the beginning. A lot more to come.”

Raducanu is one of seven British players in the main draw, with Cameron Norrie the only seed.

It was a difficult second half of 2023 for the British number one but victory over Alex De Minaur at the United Cup was a good way to start the year while Katie Boulter got off to a flyer with the best win of her career against Jessica Pegula.

The 27-year-old has reached the third round at the last two grand slams and will be looking for more of the same.

Andy Murray is a man in need of wins and must hope for a kind draw, while the same could lead to a big fortnight for 22-year-old Jack Draper, with Dan Evans and Jodie Burrage making up the British contingent.

Novak Djokovic will be favourite to claim an 11th Australian Open title, which would make him the first player in history to win 25 grand-slam singles crowns, although a wrist problem is a concern for the Serbian.

Carlos Alcaraz, Jannik Sinner and Daniil Medvedev will be expected to provide the main opposition while in the women’s draw Aryna Sabalenka defends a slam title for the first time.

World number one Iga Swiatek is yet to lift the trophy in Melbourne and has begun 2024 in fine form, as has Coco Gauff, who is the most recent slam champion following her triumph in New York.

The new year’s first grand slam kicks off in Melbourne on Sunday.

The Australian Open has a new timetable and plenty of familiar faces returning to its blue courts.

Here, the PA news agency picks out five talking points.

Late nights a thing of the past?

For the first time, the tournament will mimic the French Open and start on a Sunday, becoming a 15-day event. Organisers insist the primary motivation is to prevent matches going on until the early hours, which has become routine, with fewer contests scheduled across the day on Rod Laver Arena and Margaret Court Arena. But there will still be two per night session and, with matches lasting ever longer, it seems unlikely to make a big difference.

Former champions return

 

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No fewer than three past winners at Melbourne Park were due to make their comebacks after long absences. An untimely muscle injury suffered on his return to action in Brisbane has unfortunately sidelined Rafael Nadal, who has not played in a grand slam since sustaining a hip problem in Melbourne 12 months ago. But two-time champion Naomi Osaka returns following the birth of daughter Shai last summer with an apparent renewed hunger for life on tour while 2016 winner Angelique Kerber is another new mother back for more.

Raducanu revitalised

 

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Could Emma Raducanu’s eight-month break following surgery on both wrists and one ankle turn out to be the making of her? Stepping out of the whirlwind that engulfed following her 2021 US Open win has given the 21-year-old the chance for a fresh start and will hopefully allow her to establish a more solid base. She has turned to childhood coach Nick Cavaday for guidance but continues to travel without a full-time physio or fitness trainer. She gave a reminder of her talent in an encouraging first tournament back in Auckland last week but the major question mark remains whether her body can hold up to the rigours of the professional game.

Last hurrah for Murray?

 

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Andy Murray conjured up two of his more memorable wins in Australia last year, seeing off Matteo Berrettini in five sets and then somehow fighting back to defeat Thanasi Kokkinakis at 4am. The Scot played at his best level since hip surgery in 2023 yet it was another season of frustration and near misses rather than the sort of achievements he craves. Murray cut a particularly unhappy figure at the end of the year and is openly talking about how long he has left. If this is the 36-year-old’s last appearance at Melbourne Park, hopefully it will be one to remember for the right reasons.

Swiatek v Sabalenka

The battle for supremacy in the women’s game rolls into a new year. Aryna Sabalenka is the defending champion having lifted her first grand slam title 12 months ago and she outperformed Iga Swiatek at the majors in 2023 by reaching two finals and two semi-finals. But the Pole reclaimed the world number one ranking with a dominant performance at the WTA Finals and remains the player to beat. Throw Coco Gauff into the mix, now a grand slam champion after defeating Sabalenka in New York, and an intriguing fortnight awaits.

Andy Murray inspired Great Britain to Davis Cup victory for the first time in 79 years on this day in 2015 after success in the final against Belgium.

Britain had last got their hands on the trophy in 1936, when Fred Perry and Bunny Austin helped defeat Australia.

When Murray completed a straight-sets win against David Goffin in Ghent to clinch it, he completed one of the most impressive feats of his career.

The Scot’s 6-3 7-5 6-3 triumph against the Belgian number one at the Flanders Expo was his 11th win in the competition that season.

Murray spearheaded the victory and claimed 11 of the 12 points which Britain needed for the title, eight in singles and three in doubles with brother Jamie. The only player not a member of the Murray family to contribute was James Ward.

Three other players have won 11 rubbers in a season since the current Davis Cup format was introduced in 1981, but Murray became the first to do so all in live rubbers and remain unbeaten.

On their way to victory, Britain defeated the United States 3-2 in Glasgow, France 3-1 in London and Australia 3-2 in the semi-finals in Glasgow before Murray sealed a 3-1 success against Belgium.

Murray said: “I probably haven’t been as emotional as that after a match that I’ve won.

“I’ve been pretty upset having lost matches before. But I’d say that’s probably the most emotional I’ve been after a win.

“It’s incredible that we managed to win this competition. I didn’t know that would ever be possible.”

Andy Murray has been ruled out of the Great Britain team for next week’s Davis Cup finals in Malaga.

The 36-year-old former Wimbledon and US Open champion is sidelined due to a minor shoulder injury, the Lawn Tennis Association confirmed.

Britain play quarter-final opponents Serbia on November 23.

“I’ve picked up a minor shoulder injury which means I won’t be able to take part in the Davis Cup,” Murray said on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“I’m gutted not to be part of the squad, but my focus is now on rehab and getting ready for the new season.”

An emotional Andy Murray broke down in tears at the end of an epic Davis Cup win over Swiss debutant Leandro Riedi after revealing he was missing his grandmother’s funeral to play in the tie.

Murray needed all his nous to grind out a 6-7 (7) 6-4 6-4 victory in three hours and 10 minutes at Manchester’s AO Arena, giving Great Britain a 1-0 lead over Switzerland.

At the end of what had been a light-hearted on-court interview, the Scot choked up, revealing the added significance of his victory.

“Today is a tough day for me, it’s my gran’s funeral today,” he said. “I’m sorry to my family that I’m not able to be there but gran, this one’s for you.”

Murray then returned to his bench where he sat sobbing into his towel.

It made his efforts in coming through another long and tense battle even more impressive.

Murray had only lost three of his previous 35 singles matches in the competition and never to a player ranked as low as world number 152 Riedi, but the big-hitting 21-year-old produced a performance well above that.

Having seen his gamble to play debutant Jack Draper and Dan Evans handsomely pay off in Wednesday’s victory over Australia, captain Leon Smith made use of his options by naming Murray and Cameron Norrie as his singles players here.

Evans’ 0-5 record against Wawrinka may have played a part in his thinking along perhaps with caution not to overplay Draper considering his physical fragility this year.

Murray played singles against Kazakhstan at the same stage last year but only once Britain were already eliminated, making this his first live singles rubber in the competition since 2019 and only his second in seven years.

Switzerland also sprung a surprise by picking Riedi ahead of their number two Dominic Stricker, and Murray admitted that had thrown him having prepared to face a left-hander.

After negotiating an 11-minute first game, the Scot broke serve immediately and had a chance to open up a 4-0 lead.

He could not take it, though, and Riedi worked his way into the contest, beginning to cause Murray increasing problems with his big forehand and aggressive tactics.

They earned him a break back when the Scot served for the set at 5-3, and Murray was then unable to take two set points in the tie-break, Riedi converting his first opportunity with his 22nd winner.

The young Swiss, who had never previously beaten a top-50 player, had his tail up and Murray kicked his bag in frustration after failing to break in the third game of the second set.

He finally made the breakthrough at 3-3 when Riedi double-faulted, only for the 21-year-old to leave his opponent rooted to the spot with a series of blistering returns.

Undeterred, Murray engineered another break and this time held onto it with trademark grim determination to level the match.

The 36-year-old has been in similar situations hundreds of times during his career and ultimately experience won out, although it was still nip and tuck, with Murray slamming his racket to the court after handing an early break back in the decider.

He broke again to lead 3-2, though, and quashed Riedi’s hopes of a comeback by taking his first match point with an ace.

Murray said: “It’s obviously incredible to get through that one, it easily could have gone the other way.

“It was ridiculous the shots he was pulling off, amazing, amazing returning. I kept fighting and tried to stay focused and managed to turn it round.”

Andy Murray believes Great Britain can win the Davis Cup again this season and is happy to play his part on or off the court.

The former world number one is among a five-man team for this week’s group stage in Manchester, along with Cameron Norrie, Dan Evans, Jack Draper and Neal Skupski.

Quite what Murray’s role will be remains to be seen and, speaking after his disappointing second-round loss to Grigor Dimitrov at the US Open, the Scot questioned whether he deserved his place.

But the 36-year-old cut a much more positive figure at a press conference at the AO Arena on Monday, saying: “At that moment, straight as I came off the court, I wasn’t in a great place after losing in a slam.

“I said (to captain Leon Smith), if I’m not needed, I completely get that. But, for whatever reason, he asked me to come and I said I would come.

“I’ve always loved playing Davis Cup and any event where you’re competing for your country. We have a great group of guys, I love being part of this team, we’ve got great staff as well. Everyone gets on extremely well.

“I do genuinely believe the team can win the event. That’s huge motivation to be a part of it. I want to help the team in any way I can, whether that’s on the court or off. We’ll see what happens.”

Britain have been drawn in an intriguing group with Australia, France and Switzerland and must finish in the top two to book their spot at the finals week in Malaga in November.

It is now eight years since Murray led Britain to the Davis Cup title virtually single-handed.

There is no doubt Britain have a stronger overall team now, but with that come selection difficulties for Smith and he faced criticism for choosing Murray and Joe Salisbury as his doubles pair as they crashed out at the same stage in Glasgow 12 months ago.

Salisbury won his third consecutive US Open title with American Rajeev Ram on Saturday but did not make the team, with Smith likely to rely on Skupski and Evans in doubles, while the most intriguing question mark is whether he will throw in 21-year-old Draper fresh from his run to the fourth round in New York.

He has had a hugely frustrating season with injuries but is a major talent who will surely lead the team in the not-too-distant future, while Norrie and Evans have both had patchy seasons.

“I think we’ve got our best five here,” said Smith. “Obviously we’ve got strength in depth, especially on the doubles side. In terms of selection for the matches, it’s good. You want a strong squad, different options, because it is a long week. I’m just delighted they’re all here.”

Draper was named in the team for the first time for February’s tricky assignment away in Colombia, where victory secured their progress to this point.

“I feel great,” said the Londoner, who was hitting with fit-again former British number one Kyle Edmund on Monday.

“Obviously New York gave me a real boost after quite a tough season. When Leon asked me to join the guys I was really excited and wanted to be here.

“I haven’t been part of a Davis Cup group playing at home. It’s amazing to be part of this team and I’m very grateful for the selection and happy to be around these boys for sure.”

Britain’s biggest challenge is likely to come on Wednesday when they take on last year’s runners-up Australia, led by in-form world number 12 Alex de Minaur.

Crowds of around 8,000 are expected for that tie and the one on Friday against Stan Wawrinka’s Switzerland, while a sell-out of more than 13,000 on Sunday for the final match against France will be the biggest for a Davis Cup contest in Britain.

There are other groups taking place in Bologna, Split and Valencia, where Serbia and Spain will do battle, although a Wimbledon final rematch between Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz will no longer happen following the Spaniard’s withdrawal.

Jack Draper has been added to Britain’s Davis Cup team for next week’s matches in Manchester following his run to the fourth round of the US Open.

The 21-year-old again showed his huge potential by outperforming the rest of Britain’s singles players in New York, pushing eighth seed Andrey Rublev to four sets before bowing out on Monday.

Draper has struggled with injuries throughout the season and was a doubt for the US Open because of a shoulder problem so it was encouraging that his body held up through four best-of-five-set matches.

He joins Cameron Norrie, Dan Evans, Andy Murray and Neal Skupski in the side for matches against Australia, Switzerland and France beginning next Wednesday at the AO Arena.

It is the second time Leon Smith has called up Draper, who stayed on the bench during February’s victory over Colombia.

His inclusion presents captain Smith with a tricky selection decision given Norrie, Evans and Murray are significantly more experienced but none of the trio have had a great season, with British number one Norrie in particular in something of a rut.

Calling up Draper also indicates that Smith will rely on Wimbledon champion Skupski and Evans as his doubles partnership having overlooked Joe Salisbury, who is in the quarter-finals in New York with American partner Rajeev Ram.

Britain need to finish in the top two of the four-team group to make it through to the final stages of the competition in Malaga in November.

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