After his fourth defeat in the Australian Open finals at the hands of Novak Djokovic last year, Andy Murray vowed to return to the 2016 Australian Open to make another concerted effort to break his row of ducks at the Aussie Opens and add another title to his Grand Slam collection.
The British number one at a time attained a sixth placed ATP ranking when Djokovic secured his eighth Grand Slam victory. Murray, remained true to his word to return to this year’s 2016 Australian Open, starting this coming Monday, in his hunt for his third Grand Slam victory. The draw for this year’s Aussie Open placed the Scot in a position where he would potentially face the Serb in the semi-finals, notwithstanding a number of arduous tasks lie awaiting beforehand.
The first round matches Murray up against German 18-year-old Alexander Zverev whom he defeated a week ago in the Hopman Cup, but never met in a professional tournament. In the second round, the Scot will meet Australian Sam Groth, currently ranked 66th who made a name for himself with his cannonball serve. Groth sets the present standard for the highest speed ever recorded, one of his serves measured 163.7 mph or 263.45 kph in 2012. Murray’s third round challenge comes from 33rd ranked João Sousa, a Portuguese national who suffered six defeats against Murray. His fourth-round drawn opponent, Bernard Tomic currently ranked 17th, in the past lost all three matches where he came up against Murray. Once considered a promising youngster but never found its way back after off court controversy.
Murray faces his first tournament test in the quarterfinals against the 8th ranked David Ferrer whom he defeated in the last six of the 12 matches they’ve played to date. The semi-finals will see him facing danger in either Nadal or Wawrinka but considering recent form, the latter will be most favoured. He has defeated 4th ranked Wawrinka in eight of their 15 matches, in comparison to 6 wins over Nadal out of 22 matches. There would be a small surprise in a Murray – Djokovic final, where perhaps Murray would start 2016 as the year he turns the tide.