Andy Murray stays in hunt for Australian Open seeding after nightmare Asian swing

There is also an update on Emma Raducanu.

Andy Murray stays in hunt for Australian Open seeding after nightmare Asian swing
2023 China Open - Day 3
Andy Murray struggled during the Asian swing but is back to winning ways (Picture: Getty)

Andy Murray remains in the hunt to be seeded for the Australian Open in January as he returned to winning ways following a nightmare Asian swing.

The British tennis legend, 36, who plays with a metal hip after surgery saved his career, recorded a 7-5 6-4 victory over Yannick Hanfmann in Basel on Monday.

That saw Murray end a run of three straight defeats at Chinese tournaments in Zhuhai, Beijing and Shanghai – in which he lost to two players ranked below him.

Murray is currently world No.40 and must climb into the top 32 to be seeded for the Australian Open – the first Grand Slam of 2024 – which starts on January 14.

The former world No. 1 narrowly missed out on a seeding at Wimbledon and the US Open this year, losing in the second round at both Grand Slam events.

While Monday’s victory over Hanfmann in the first round of the Swiss Indoors did not see him move up the ATP rankings, it has given him a stepping stone should he manage to string together a few wins at the tournament in Basel.

‘Happy to come through,’ Murray said after his win over Hanfmann. ‘He’s had a brilliant year and has been playing very well, so it’s a good result.’

Murray next faces Argentine world No.32 Tomas Martin Etcheverry in the last 16 as he looks to boost his chances of earning a seeding at Melbourne Park.

After the Swiss Indoors, Murray has just two singles tournaments on the ATP Tour left in 2023, with the thee-time Grand Slam champion set to play at the Paris Masters and the Moselle Open in Metz.

Murray has also been named in an unchanged Davis Cup team for Great Britain as Leon Smith’s men prepare to face Serbia in the quarter-finals.

Murray is joined by British No.1 Cameron Norrie as well as Dan Evans, Jack Draper and Neal Skupski – who will take on against Novak Djokovic’s Serbia from November 21 to November 26.

Meanwhile, injured British star Emma Raducanu has opened up about her Olympic dreams and has faced questions over her high turnover of coaches.

Raducanu, 20, has not played since April amid injury and subsequent surgery, with the 2021 US Open winner targeting a WTA Tour return for the start of 2024.

Emma Raducanu had surgery earlier this year amid recurring injury issues (Picture: Instagram)
Emma Raducanu had surgery earlier this year amid recurring injury issues (Picture: Instagram)

‘Obviously, the Olympics is such a big thing in sport,’ Raducanu told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

‘I think I could play another four if I really wanted to, so this one isn’t the immediate rush or pressure, it’s just about getting back on court.

‘I love the Slams but I do want to have the Olympic experience. I’ll just see how it goes, if I even qualify and how it goes from there.’

Quizzed about her high turnover of coaches, which has drawn criticism, Raducanu added: ‘I ask my coaches a lot of questions. On certain occasions they haven’t been able to keep up with the questions I’ve asked and maybe that’s why it ended.

‘It’s something I’ve always done. I keep provoking and asking questions to coaches and challenging their thinking as well.

‘I’m not someone that you can just tell me what do and I’ll do it, I need to understand why and then I’ll do it.’

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