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Agut heaps praise on ‘legend’ Murray but insists he’ll go all-out to win an emotional game NO FEAR FOR CHIEFS AS NOWELL RETURNS
ROBERTO BAUTISTA AGUT says he will show no mercy to Andy Murray – even if their first-round clash at the Australian Open is the Scot’s emotional farewell to the game.
The former world No. 1 is hugely popular Down Under after reaching the final here five times – but losing each time.
Bautista Agut is expecting heavy support for Murray but said: “I’m used to it, I have played Davis Cup matches and many situations like this. I hope to enjoy the match like him, I will try my best.
“After Andy’s press conference, I think a lot of people will watch. There will be a lot of interest from all the press. Andy is one of the tennis legends in its history. He is one of the best tennis players in history.
“It’s going to be a nice experience for me, particularly to play Andy. I hope it’s a nice match. It will be a great experience to play against him in Australia in one of his last Grand Slams. I want to enjoy the experience
“Tomorrow I will be in a competition, to win my match and try everything to get the win. To be ready for a difficult match in these conditions, I’ll concentrate and try the best I can.”
The Spaniard prepared for the first Grand Slam of the season by beating world No. 1 Novak Djokovic on his way to winning the Qatar Open last week.
Murray has predicted his own defeat in the first round but insisted he will try to “enjoy” perhaps his final ever match.
The Scot has been “very touched” by the messages of support from fans across the world after announcing he will retire this year.
The double Olympic champion wants to say farewell at Wimbledon, but the pain in his hip could force him to stop after the first Slam of the season.
But Mur ray accepts his 13th appearance here will not last long.
“It will be tough walking out for what could be my last match,” Murray said.
“Lots of things have been weird. I know I’ve got no chance of winning the tournament and I know most likely I’m going to lose in the first round here.
“I’m not happy about that but, because of the way the last six months of competing has gone, throw in the towel, however, and they go into today’s Anglo-French showdown with boss Rob Baxter reminding them that they scaled much the same peak in 2016.
Baxter said: “What we did that season highlights to everyone that whether people give you a chance or not, if you play and I know that I could win but I know that it’s likely that I won’t.
“It’s going to be uncomfortable because if it is my last match I want to try and enjoy it and enjoy the whole experience which is maybe something during my career that I’ve not done because it’s always been like focused on tactics and winning and finding a way and that’s the most important thing. Whereas coming in here, it feels very different for me.”
Murray added: “I know that it will be difficult to stop. I love tennis. I love playing the game.”
Andy’s brother Jamie won the doubles title with Bruno Soares at the Sydney International, beating No.1 seeds Robert Farah and Juan Sebastian Cabal 6-4, 6-3.
British No.2 Cameron Norrie lost the Auckland Open final 6-4, 6-2 to USA’s Tennys Sandgren. you just go for it, things can happen. I’ve told the guys to go out enjoy, and don’t be negative or nervy.
“Let’s just get on with it all, enjoy the occasion, and see what happens.” The return of England star Nowell, 25, gives them further optimism. He tore a hamstring and has not played in eight weeks.
TEARS FOR FEARS: Andy Murray knows it could be his last competitive match WASHINGTON Wizards point guard Tomas Satoransky grew used to playing second fiddle to his more illustrious club-mates during his days at Barcelona.The 27-year-old Czech (above) and his team-mates shared training facilities with Messi, Neymar and Co.And, naturally, it was the football gods rather than the basketball giants who got most of the adoration in the capital of Catalunya.“You’d see the fans waiting for the football players and then their disappointment when it was the basketball players [who came out],” said Satoransky.“The times I was with the football players was when we went to see their games or they came to see our games.“Neymar, Gerard Pique, a bunch of other guys… we never had Christmas dinners and events where we’d go together.”
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