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Murray backed by Konta to spring Aussie Open surprise

Former British tennis number one Johanna Konta believes that Andy Murray could surprise the competition and go far in the Australian Open.

Murray was once the British number one in the men’s side of the sport but has had to slowly rebuild his presence on the tour to find fitness and form following major hip surgery.

The 34-year-old Scot still harbours ambitions to challenge at the very top of the sport, and with Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and current world number one Novak Djokovic all dominating well into their 30s, it is no longer an outlandish concept that he could fight back for more major honours.

Konta has told Eurosport ahead of his campaign at the season’s first Grand Slam that Murray, who is in action on Tuesday, has every chance of making a strong run at Melbourne Park.

“He’s gotten some matches under his belt. Ever since he’s come back from his injury he’s got more consistent, the more he’s playing, the more he’s training. I actually feel he’s got a good opportunity to go deep and make it to the very last stages, who knows. The fourth round, the quarters, it’s possible.

“The possibility is always there. It’s important to remember there’s a whole field of other players striving for the same thing. It’s never going to be a simple equation for him to do, but for Andy he’s always giving himself the best chance of doing that.

“That’s what he’s striving to do, to be in the latter stages of the Slam, to win another Slam one day. There’s every possibility, it depends on how the body holds up on a consistent basis.”

Konta paid tribute to Murray’s strength of personality for making such a resolute attempt at a comeback.

“I think you admire it,” she said. “It’s not a normal trait of every athlete, however it’s not unexpected because of how we know Andy, the kind of athlete he is.

“He’s resilient, he’s tough. Every time in his career, he’s maximised his abilities and is still looking to do that. I’m full of admiration for his tenacity.”

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