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Melbourne boost for Murray

Melbourne boost for Murray

Andy Murray, who is set to play Fabio Fognini in the second round of the Shanghai Masters, will make his Grand Slam singles return at the Australian Open.

The 32-year-old Scot has been given a protected ranking of two for the tournament even though he said in Melbourne nine months ago that he feared his career was over because of a hip problem.

Murray, who has won the Wimbledon title twice in his career, as well as triumphing at the US Open in 2012, came from behind to defeat Juan Ignacio Londero 2-6 6-2 6-3 in the first round in Shanghai.

He said afterwards: "The court is by far the fastest conditions that I have played in since I came back. I really struggled with that early on. I was mistiming the ball. I felt quite slow on the court, and he was pretty much dictating all of the points.

"I managed early on in the second set to start putting a bit more on my ball, going for my shots a little bit more and just trying to hit through the court a bit more, get him on the defensive, which I did pretty well."

Fognini beat Sam Querrey 6-4 6-2, and Murray said of his Italian opponent: "I've always had tough matches with him. He's not an easy guy to play against. Unbelievably talented guy. Good hand skills. Moves well. A little bit up and down sometimes in his matches, but he's playing really well."

Murray, who underwent a second hip operation after the Australian Open in late January, has won the Shanghai title on three occasions - in 2010, 2011 and 2016.

"I think each week I have been feeling good, better. In the beginning I didn't necessarily feel good. But last couple of weeks have been, I think, much improved," he added.

"My movement overall has been very good in comparison to what it was over in the States and I'm hoping that's something that can get a little bit better."

Murray is 11/10 to beat Fognini who is 4/6 to triumph.

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