Andy Murray refused to add to Novak Djokovic's troubles after the Serbian star's visa saga reared up again, insisting he would not "start kicking Novak while he's down".

Some players have been critical of Djokovic, while world number four Stefanos Tsitsipas said the Serbian has been "playing by his own rules" after refusing to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus.

Djokovic faces a critical Federal Court hearing on Sunday that looks set to determine whether he can play at the Australian Open, which starts the following day.

Although the Serbian arrived in Australia with a medical exemption for the grand slam tournament, which he has won on a record nine occasions, that did not satisfy Border Force officers who last week decided Djokovic did not meet entry requirements.

After four days in detention, Djokovic won a first challenge against the visa decision on Monday and has been able to train at Melbourne Park in the days since; however, he will be returned to detention on Saturday morning in the Victoria state capital after immigration minister Alex Hawke cancelled the visa anew.

Murray said: "It's not a good situation. I'm not going to sit here and start kicking Novak while he's down. It's unfortunate it's ended up in this sort of situation.

"It's just one to get resolved. I think it would be good for everyone if that was the case. It seems like it's dragged on for quite a long time now.

"It's not great for tennis, not great for the Australian Open, not great for Novak, and a lot of people have criticised the government here as well, so it's not been good.

Murray banged his head against a microphone in exasperation as he faced another question on the matter, clearly by now sick of being asked about Djokovic.

The Scot, a former world number one and long-time friend and rival to Djokovic, was asked about the latest developments after coming off court, having just booked his place in the final of an ATP Tour event for the first time since 2019.

Speaking after his semi-final win at the Sydney Classic, Murray said: "I would encourage people to get vaccinated.

"But I do feel like people should be able to make their own decisions. Ultimately, people have to make their own choices, but there is also consequences sometimes for those decisions as well."

Former doubles world number one Rennae Stubbs told Australian broadcaster ABC she expected the story to keep rumbling on.

"It's not over, he's staying in the country, but for the ramifications for the Australian Open, it's huge," Stubbs said.

"It's hard to know, obviously I'm not in his mind, but I would say he's going to be extremely disappointed, very sad, angry. I think he's probably going through all the emotions you can imagine as a human being."

Before the hearing on Sunday was confirmed, Stubbs said: "Unfortunately for Novak, it's not looking good."

Djokovic has been drawn to face fellow Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic in the first round in a match that would be expected to take place on Monday or Tuesday.

Although the case of Djokovic has drawn global attention, Australian Stubbs said the single-minded nature of tennis players meant most were "really not concerned about Novak and his dilemmas".

"I think they're ready to get on with this tournament," she said. "I frankly think that most of them are sick and tired of talking about Novak and dealing with this situation in general."

Andy Murray will face the surprise package of last year's Australian Open in Saturday's final of the Sydney Classic.

Blocking Murray's way to a first ATP Tour title since October 2019 will be Russian player Aslan Karatsev, whose gritty win over Dan Evans prevented an all-British final.

Evans won a marathon tie-break in the second set of that encounter but could not maintain the level as he lost out 6-3 6-7 (13-15) 6-3 to a player who caused a sensation by reaching the 2021 Australian Open semi-finals.

It was also a case of digging deep for Murray, who picked up a stellar win over American Reilly Opelka, triumphing 6-7 (6-8) 6-4 6-4 against the fourth seed and world number 25. Murray is ranked down at number 135, but this strong week has provided evidence he still belongs at a much higher level.

Three years have passed since Murray came to Australia and indicated he was close to retirement due to hip trouble. He has battled back against the odds to stay active, but his lone ATP singles final appearance since that point came at the 2019 European Open in Antwerp, where he beat Stan Wawrinka to land a surprise title.

Now he is back in another title match, for what will be just his fourth singles final on the main tour since the end of the 2016 season, when he reached world number one status.

Murray rifled 16 aces and no double faults, winning an impressive 88 per cent of points when he landed his first ball in court, and his serve was not broken at any point by Opelka.

He has 46 singles titles and dearly wants to reach 50 before calling it a day, with a glorious chance to land a 47th coming up on Saturday.

Karatsev, the world number 20, is not a player that Murray would underestimate. He was ranked 114th and largely unknown before going on his run to the final four in Melbourne last February, but he has since pushed on and should provide a stiff test for three-time major winner Murray.

"It's already been a great week for me, big progress from anything I've done in the last year or so, to string four matches together like this and against top players in Basilashvili and Opelka," said Murray. "I'll go for 47 tomorrow. It's been a good week, I've played better with each match, so hopefully I'll step it up again."

At the Adelaide International 2 event, Australian wildcard Thanasi Kokkinakis produced a stunning semi-final win over fourth seed Marin Cilic, battling to a 6-2 3-6 7-6 (12-10) victory over the former US Open champion, teeing up a shot at Frenchman Arthur Rinderknech in the title match.

Andy Murray powered through to his first ATP Tour final since October 2019 after a stellar win over Reilly Opelka at the Sydney Classic.

Murray won 6-7 (6-8) 6-4 6-4 against his American opponent, with fourth seed and world number 25 Opelka undone by the British wildcard.

Three years have passed since Murray came to Australia and indicated he was close to retirement due to hip trouble.

There have been highs and lows since then as the three-time grand slam winner has fought to resuscitate his career. His lone ATP final appearance since that point came at the 2019 European Open in Antwerp, where he beat Stan Wawrinka to land a surprise title.

Now he is back in another title match, for what will be just his fourth final on the main tour since the end of the 2016 season, when he reached world number one status.

Opelka is renowned as a big server and duly sent down 20 aces and four double faults, but Murray showed he can compete on that front too with 16 aces and no doubles.

The Scot also won an impressive 88 per cent of points when he landed his first ball in court, and his serve was not broken at any point.

Murray was awaiting the winner of the second semi-final between his fellow Briton Dan Evans and Russian Aslan Karatsev.

Five-time Australian Open runner-up Murray has been drawn to face Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili in the first round of the grand slam at Melbourne Park next week. He beat 23rd-ranked Basilashvili in round two in Sydney.

Andy Murray strode through to the semi-finals at the Sydney Classic after opponent David Goffin was forced to retire with an injury.

Murray won the opening set 6-2 before eighth seed Goffin, who had been receiving treatment on his knee, determined he could no longer continue.

It is the first time the 34-year-old Murray has reached a semi-final on the ATP Tour since winning the European Open title in October 2019.

Though not ideal circumstances, Murray will at least be glad of the extra rest after his three-hour encounter with world number 23 Nikoloz Basilashvili in the second round. The Scot has also been drawn to play Basilashvili in the first round of the Australian Open.

Murray will face Reilly Opelka in the last four in Sydney after the American beat compatriot Brandon Nakashima 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 to advance.

Top seed Aslan Karatsev was made to work for his win against Italy's Lorenzo Sonego but secured a 6-3 3-6 6-2 victory to book his semi-final place against Briton Dan Evans, who defeated American Maxime Cressy 6-4 7-6 (7-5). Cressy reached the final of the Melbourne Summer Set tournament last week.

At the Adelaide International 2 event, third seed Karen Khachanov tumbled out after losing in straight sets to Arthur Rinderknech, the Frenchman coming through a 7-6 (9-7) 7-5 winner.

Rinderknech will face compatriot Corentin Moutet in the semi-finals after the qualifier overcame Thiago Monteiro 6-4 6-4.

Fourth seed Marin Cilic battled to beat American Tommy Paul 6-4 2-6 6-3, and a test awaits against Thanasi Kokkinakis who defeated fellow Australian Aleksandar Vukic 6-7 (5-7) 6-3 6-2.

Andy Murray drew on his never-say-die attitude to beat Nikoloz Basilashvili in a late-night thriller and book a quarter-final berth at the Sydney Tennis Classic.

The former world number one lost the first set despite leading 4-1 and 5-2, and was pegged back again having broken for a 3-2 lead in the second.

But Murray is renowned for being a fighter on court and so it proved again as the three-time grand slam winner defeated his Georgian opponent 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 in a match that finished after midnight in Sydney.

It marked further joy for Murray against world number 23 Basilashvili, an opponent he defeated in four sets in the first round of Wimbledon last year.

Murray's fellow Briton Dan Evans continued a perfect start to 2022 as he breezed past Pedro Martinez 6-2 6-3 in 85 minutes without facing a break point.

Top seed Aslan Karatsev defeated Miomir Kecmanovic 7-5 6-4 for his first win of the year, while Reilly Opelka (4), Lorenzo Sonego (5) and David Goffin (8) – who is Murray's last-eight opponent - all coasted through in straight sets.

However, Fabio Fognini (7) was a seed who did fall, as he lost 7-6 (9-7) 7-6 (8-6) to American Brandon Nakashima.

At the Adelaide International 2 tournament, top seed Gael Monfils – who triumphed at last week's Adelaide event – withdrew with neck pain in the deciding set of his second-round tie against Thiago Monteiro.

John Isner (2) also bit the dust against wildcard and home favourite Thanasi Kokkinakis with each set going to a tie-break.

Karen Khachanov (3) and Marin Cilic (4) safely made it through in straight sets against Gianluca Mager and Jaume Munar respectively, but Marton Fucsovics (8) was beaten 6-2 6-2 by Frenchman Corentin Moutet.

Tommy Paul, Arthur Rinderknech and Aleksandar Vukic all progressed.

Andy Murray says there are "questions that need to be answered" by Novak Djokovic before the world number one plays in the Australian Open.

Frustrated by the Djokovic saga becoming a distraction, Murray wants the world number one to tie up loose ends at the earliest opportunity, so the tennis world can move on.

There remain grey areas surrounding the Serbian's commitment to isolating after testing positive for COVID-19 on December 16 last year.

A maskless Djokovic was pictured at a Belgrade tennis club's awards event on December 17, and L'Equipe has reported he took part in a photo shoot and interview for the French sports newspaper on the following day. It remains to be established whether Djokovic knew by that stage that he had returned a positive test.

The coronavirus infection allowed Djokovic to qualify for a medical exemption to play at Melbourne Park, and the 20-time grand slam winner confirmed on arrival in Australia that he is unvaccinated, before his visa was initially revoked.

It is not known what his plans would have been for the Australian Open had he not tested positive, as players are required by Tennis Australia to be either vaccinated or have a compelling case for an exemption.

Djokovic was released from a four-day detention in a Melbourne hotel following a court hearing on Monday, and long-time friend and rival Murray said: "It's positive that he's not in detention anymore. He won in court, so that's a positive thing for him, and hopefully we'll be able to concentrate on the tennis now.

"I think there is still a few questions that need to be answered around the isolation and stuff, which I'm sure we'll hear from him in the next few days, but I'm obviously here to try and play and win tournaments."

Australia's immigration minister Alex Hawke could still cancel Djokovic's visa on new grounds, meaning his participation at the year's first grand slam, which begins next Monday, is not yet 100 per cent confirmed. The nine-time Australian Open champion will be seeking a record 21st men's grand slam singles title if cleared to play.

Murray, who won in the first round of the Sydney Classic on Tuesday, is conscious of the Djokovic saga dragging on.

It was clear the Briton believes an important step forward is for Djokovic to answer journalists' questions on the matter.

"It's the first match that I have played here, or won here, in over three years, and this is where the situations like this are frustrating for players," said Murray. "I want to come off and talk about my tennis and what's happening there, not talking about situations like that.

"So I'm hoping that we can move on from it now. He won in court, which is good. It looks like he's going to be able to play and compete in the Australian Open. We do want the best players there.

"But like I said, I think there is still a few questions to be answered. It's up to the press to ask about that and for Novak to clarify, so let's wait to see what he says."

Andy Murray swept through his opening test at the Sydney Classic as the wildcard grabbed his first win of the year.

Murray sped to a 6-3 6-1 victory over Norwegian Viktor Durasovic, a player ranked a lowly 345th by the ATP who won through two qualifying rounds to reach the main draw.

The Scot broke four times across the contest and won 25 of 26 points when landing a first serve, an encouraging rate. Realistically, anything other than a comfortable win for the former world number one would have been concerning ahead of the Australian Open.

Murray at least put last week's disappointing first-round loss to Facundo Bagnis at the Melbourne Summer Set tournament behind him, and now a stiff tests await him in the last-16 stage.

Georgian second seed Nikoloz Basilashvili is next for Murray on Wednesday, with the world number 23 a familiar foe after these two met in the first round at Wimbledon last July.

On that occasion, Murray won in four sets following a desperate wobble in the third, which he lost from 5-0 ahead.

Five times an Australian Open finalist, Murray believes limbering up this week in Sydney can set him up well for the season's first grand slam.

"It is perfect conditions here," Murray said. "It feels like you are playing indoors. It is really nice to get your range here, and hopefully I can carry that through to Melbourne.

"I was hoping to get matches in Melbourne last week, but that didn't happen. Thankfully the tournament organisers and Tennis Australia agreed to give me the wildcard and the opportunity to play here, and I am very grateful for that."

Tuesday also saw a win for Maxime Cressy, the American serve-volleyer who caused a stir with his run to last week's final in Melbourne before pushing eventual champion Rafael Nadal in the title match.

Cressy, who was born in Paris, is a throwback in an era dominated by baseliners, and his game again came good as he saw off Adrian Mannarino 6-3 7-5. Dusan Lajovic awaits him in round two after the Serbian beat Spain's Alejandro Davidovich Fokina 7-6 (7-5) 6-4.

At the Adelaide International 2 tournament, South African fifth seed Lloyd Harris made a first-round exit, losing 5-7 7-5 6-4 to Soonwoo Kwon.

There was another positive performance from Adelaide's own Thanasi Kokkinakis, who swatted away Frenchman Benoit Paire 6-4 6-0 to tee up a second-round shot at American second seed John Isner.

Kokkinakis, a once-bright young prospect who is finding his way again on tour after injury trouble, reached the semi-finals of last week's Adelaide tournament and is eyeing another run in South Australia before heading to Melbourne.

"After a good run last week, I was pretty knackered – I'm not going to lie," Kokkinakis said, quoted in The Australian. "But I thought another one in my hometown was a perfect situation.

"It was kind of a win-win for me almost. If I won, perfect, I get more matches. If not, I get to Melbourne and get to prepare for Aussie Open, but I'm stoked with the win."

Andy Murray believes Novak Djokovic's situation ahead of the Australian Open does not reflect well on anyone involved, nor the game of tennis in general.

Djokovic is currently in immigration detention at the Park Hotel in Melbourne.

The world number one, who has not revealed his COVID-19 vaccination status, received a medical exemption to feature in the Australian Open, which begins on January 17. He is the reigning champion and has won the tournament nine times.

All competitors at Melbourne Park must either be vaccinated or have a valid medical reason not to have had the vaccine. Australia, and Melbourne in particular, has had strict restrictions in place throughout the pandemic.

However, Djokovic's visa application was rejected by Australian border force officials. The Serbian star will now await the outcome of a hearing, set to take place on Monday, to determine whether he will be allowed to compete or be deported, with the Australian government losing an appeal to delay the hearing.

Murray, a five-time Australian Open finalist, cannot see how the situation looks good for anybody.

"I think everyone is shocked by it to be honest," former world number one Murray, who is preparing himself for the season's first grand slam, told reporters, as quoted by Australian publication The Age.

"I'm going to say two things on it just now. The first thing is that I hope that Novak is OK. I know him well, and I've always had a good relationship with him and I hope that he's OK.

"The second thing I'll say on it, is it's really not good for tennis at all, and I don't think it's good for anyone involved."

 

Four of Murray's five defeats in Australian Open finals came to Djokovic, who the Scot has not had contact with.

"[I need to] wait and hear exactly what the situation is before commenting on it further, because again I don't think it's fair because some of it is speculation," Murray said.

"Some stuff has come out that really doesn't look good, either. I want to hear all the facts first before giving all of my thoughts on it."

Djokovic's lawyers, in their appeal document sent to the court, disclosed that the 34-year-old had tested positive for COVID-19 in December, and it was under these grounds that they sought a medical exemption.

Rafael Nadal said this week that Djokovic could have made life easier for himself by getting vaccinated, or disclosing his vaccine status, and Murray echoed those sentiments.

"It's not for [Nadal] to say what the right thing to do is, but to listen to the experts on those subjects, and I feel the same," Murray added.

"I can accept that young healthy athletes, if you contract coronavirus, are probably going to be OK. But I trust what I'm getting told by the scientists and the doctors.

"It's not about listening to what politicians or government are telling me to do, it's more listening to the doctors and the scientists, and the people that really know about that stuff."

Rafael Nadal was handed a walkover to the semi-finals of the Melbourne Summer Set tournament when his opponent withdrew with a foot injury.

In an ironic development, given Nadal has been so plagued by his own serious foot problems, Tallon Griekspoor had to pull out of his scheduled clash with the 20-time grand slam champion on Friday.

That was perhaps not the news Nadal wanted, given the Spaniard is competing this week to gain much-needed match practice ahead of the Australian Open. It is his first ATP Tour event since August, when a long-existing left foot problem caused him to curtail his season.

Withdrawing from a Rod Laver Arena tussle with Nadal was a painful blow to 25-year-old Dutchman Griekspoor too, and he wrote on Twitter: "These are the matches you play for."

It would have been a first career meeting with all-time great Nadal for the world number 65, who instead faces a fitness battle before the first grand slam of the year begins on January 17.

Nadal will go on to face Finland's Emil Ruusuvuori, who won 6-2 6-1 against Slovakian Alex Molcan. The other semi-final on Saturday will see Bulgarian third seed Grigor Dimitrov tackle American qualifier Maxime Cressy.

At the Adelaide International, the top three seeds sauntered through to the semi-finals. Top seed Gael Monfils brushed aside Tommy Paul 6-4 6-1, number two Karen Khachanov saw off Egor Gerasimov 7-5 6-3, and third seed Marin Cilic was a 6-3 6-2 winner over Laslo Djere.

It was also confirmed on Friday that former world number one Andy Murray has been awarded a wildcard into next week's Sydney Classic.

Murray suffered a first-round exit in Melbourne and is looking for a run of matches before launching his campaign at the Australian Open, where he is a five-time runner-up.

Andy Murray stumbled out of the Melbourne Summer Set tournament after a first-round defeat to Argentinian Facundo Bagnis.

In his opening ATP Tour match of the year, three-time grand slam winner Murray slipped up 6-3 5-7 6-3 against Bagnis, a player who began the year with a 30-59 win-loss career record.

Left-hander Bagnis rose to the occasion on Rod Laver Arena to earn the scalp of the former world number one.

Murray, down at 134th in the rankings after another injury-hit year, is looking to make headway on that front in 2022 under new coach Jan de Witt, so that he can avoid having to take wildcards into tournaments.

He was allowed into this tournament by that back-door route, and has also been confirmed for an Australian Open wildcard, but the Scot could not find the form that saw him beat Rafael Nadal at an exhibition event in Abu Dhabi in late December.

Bagnis said of his win: "In the beginning it was a pleasure to play against Andy and right now to beat him is amazing. I'm really happy."

He added, according to the tournament website: "Yesterday, I came to see the stadium, to see it all around because the atmosphere is different when you play on any court outside… I enjoyed it a lot. It was so good for me."

Nadal was also back in action on Tuesday, playing his first match on the main tour since August as he teamed up with fellow Spaniard Jaume Munar for a doubles win.

A foot injury meant Nadal's 2021 season ended early, but he warmed up for singles tests that lie ahead by joining Munar for a 6-3 3-6 10-4 win over Argentinians Sebastian Baez and Tomas Martin Etcheverry.

At the Adelaide International 1 tournament, there was a notable first-round win on Tuesday for Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis, who saw off compatriot John Millman 6-4 6-3.

Kokkinakis, a major talent as a youngster, is battling to reassert himself on tour after injury troubles, and beating Millman put his name up in lights for at least one day.

He reflected afterwards on the battle it has taken so far, with last year spent largely living out of a suitcase on the second-tier Challenger Tour.

"It was a gruelling year travelling," said Kokkinakis. "I've played a couple of times [in Adelaide] but just in exhibitions, so to play a real meaningful tournament and beat such a quality opponent, a proven veteran like Johnny, means a lot. I played great, and the support was great, so I'm really happy."

Andy Murray will compete at the Australian Open for the first time in three years after being awarded a main-draw wildcard.

Murray has finished as a runner-up five times at Melbourne Park – most recently in 2016 when he was beaten by Novak Djokovic 6-1 7-5 7-6 (7-3).

The Scot has since struggled with a hip injury that had him on the verge of retirement, while he dropped to 134th in the world rankings.

However, the former world number one was in action at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi last week, where he defeated Rafael Nadal before eventually falling to Andrey Rublev in the final of the exhibition event.

Murray was due to feature at the Australian Open in 2020 before a positive coronavirus test stopped him from playing, but the 34-year-old is thankful for the chance to compete in Melbourne again.

"I'm really excited to be back playing at the Australian Open and grateful to Craig [Tiley] and the team for the opportunity," Murray said on his wildcard, as quoted by the tournament's website.

"I've had some great times in Australia playing in front of the amazing crowds and I can't wait to step back out on court at Melbourne Park."

Tournament director and Tennis Australia chief executive Craig Tiley added: "Andy is renowned for his fighting spirit, passion and love of the game, and I'm delighted to welcome him back to Melbourne in January."

American Stefan Kozlov and Frenchman Lucas Pouille join Murray as the men's singles wildcards so far, with the other four spots likely to go to Australians and another to an Asia-Pacific player.

The Australian Open gets underway on January 17 with the final set to take place 13 days later.

Andrey Rublev became the first Russian to win the Mubadala World Tennis Championship by beating Andy Murray in straight sets on Saturday.

World number five Rublev secured a 6-4 7-6 (7-2) victory over the three-time grand slam champion in the final in Abu Dhabi.

Murray had beaten Rafael Nadal in the exhibition event, but was unable to end the year on a high note.

Rublev claimed the only break of a tight first set and dominated a second-set tie-break after Murray had fought back from failing to hold in the opening game.

Murray had been given a way back into the contest when Rublev threw in three double faults in the eighth game of the second set to be pegged back at 4-4, but was unable to force a decider.

Nadal suffered another loss as he works his way back from injury, with Denis Shapovalov coming from a set down to beat the legendary Spaniard 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 10-6.

Rafael Nadal said it felt "special" to be back on court as the 20-time grand slam champion began his latest comeback with defeat to old foe Andy Murray in Abu Dhabi.

The Spaniard was beaten 6-3 7-5 by Murray at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship, an exhibition event that for the 35-year-old marks an important step towards a full ATP tour return.

Nadal is coming off a year disrupted by the foot injury that caused him to miss Wimbledon, the Olympics and the US Open, playing just one event after June.

With the Australian Open a month away, there is plenty of work for these two still to do, but this was a feast for the eyes as the multiple grand slam champions jostled hard for supremacy.

Murray is down at 134th in the ATP rankings and continues to battle his own body after hip and groin problems. However, eye-catching wins late in the season against the likes of Carlos Alcaraz, Hubert Hurkacz, Jannik Sinner and Frances Tiafoe have suggested there might be good times ahead for him in the new year.

Here the Scot broke Nadal's serve to 15 in the sixth game of the first set to seize the initiative. Nadal appeared to be finding a familiar rhythm in the second set, hitting some tremendous clean winners, and at 0-30 down at 4-4 he serve-volleyed twice in succession to get out of trouble.

A contentious line call gave Murray two break points at 5-5, and although Nadal saved one, he fired long at the end of a super rally on the next point. Murray closed out the contest on his second match point, with Nadal flinging a full-throttle backhand long, 

"It's been special to be back in competition," Nadal said in an on-court interview. "At the same time, it's been a while since we played against each other. I'm super happy to see Andy playing at this great level after all the things he went through.

"For me, as a comeback it was not a bad match for me. It's been a long time since I was out on court in a professional match so I've got positive feelings."

These wily old rivals had met 24 times previously at competitive tour level, all of those encounters coming between 2007 and 2016 with Nadal leading 17-7 in the head-to-head.

Nadal won the ATP's comeback player of the year award way back in 2013, and he finds himself looking to prove himself again in 2022, locked together on 20 slams with Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.

Murray, who has won three slams but also been a runner-up eight times in the majors, said: "It's great to be back on the court, able to play at a high level again after a very long time. Me and Rafa have played so many tough matches, but we've not played for five or six years.

"That shows both of us have gone through lots of injury troubles and issues, and it's great to just have the opportunity to be on the court with him again.

"Certainly when I was younger I wasn't appreciating it as much as I do now. It's great to be back on the court, I'm so happy that Rafa's back, and I look forward to the next few years."

Murray will play Andrey Rublev for the title on Saturday, while Nadal features again too, taking on Denis Shapovalov in a third-place match.

Andy Murray has parted ways with his long-term coach Jamie Delgado ahead of the 2022 season.

Murray and Delgado joined forces during the 2016 season when the Scot won a second Wimbledon title and finished the year top of the world rankings.

Former professional player Delgado, 44, then stepped up as full-time coach when Ivan Lendl stopped working in the role the following year, though much of his time has been spent with Murray negotiating a hip injury.

Delgado will now move on to go work with Denis Shapovalov's team, while Murray will continue to trial with Jan de Witt at an exhibition event in Abu Dhabi.

The 34-year-old had previously been working Johanna Konta's former coach Esteban Carril at a Stockholm tournament in November, but the Spaniard will not be part of Murray's setup for the upcoming season.

Potential new coach De Witt counts Gilles Simon, Gaels Monfils and Viktor Troicki as former players he has worked with, and the German will be with Murray for his first match against Dominic Thiem at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship.

Murray, who has dropped to 134th in the world rankings, will face Rafael Nadal if he can beat the Frenchman, while Emma Raducanu will also be in action in Abu Dhabi.

Andy Murray believes his game will improve in the off-season after the former world number one's 2021 campaign came to an end at the Stockholm Open.

Murray stunned top seed Jannik Sinner on Wednesday, however, the three-time grand slam champion lost 6-2 3-6 6-3 to Tommy Paul in Thursday's quarter-final.

Currently ranked 143rd on the ATP Tour, Murray had warned the days of him progressing deep in tournaments again were on the horizon following his upset of Sinner midweek.

Murray's career has been ravaged by injuries – the 34-year-old underwent hip resurfacing in 2019, but the veteran feels he is on the right track.

"My game will improve, I think, over the off season - I'm pretty clear on the things that I need to work on," said Murray, with his focus now turning to the 2022 Australian Open.

"I need to make sure we get a good plan in place that come the beginning of January those improvements have been made."

Paul needed two hours, 16 minutes to see off Murray at the ATP 250 tournament in Stockholm.

"It was a lot of fun," said American Paul. "He is a legend. I played some of my best tennis today and I even looked over at my coach mid-match and thought it was fun to battle him today.

"It was the game plan to keep him running after his long match [against Jannik Sinner] yesterday. I tried to keep him running. I played tight and stuck to my game plan in the third set."

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