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'I'm not interested in the rankings': Murray on grit, goals and greats

  • Dan Imhoff

When Andy Murray hobbled off Melbourne Arena to a standing ovation three years ago, he was convinced the final curtain had fallen.

If that was it, he told his team, he was more than content to sign off on that note. 

Five times a runner-up, Murray told the AO Show this week he could not have played another match at Melbourne Park that year even if he had wanted to after he pushed his ailing body to its limit in a four-hour defeat to Roberto Bautista Agut.

But on the eve of an improbable 13th campaign at the season's opening Grand Slam, the former world No.1 said he believed he still had a deep run ahead of him on a major stage.


"To be honest I'm not really interested so much in the rankings. I have some small goals, for example, short-term ones, which is I want to get 700 match wins on the tour … I want to try and do that this year," Murray said.

"I won 46 tournaments in my career. My goal is try and reach 50 – whether I do that or not, I don't know – and then is to have a big run at one of the major events and see what happens, see if I can put myself in that position."

Currently ranked at world No.135, the 34-year-old required a wildcard to take his place in the starting line-up next week for a welcome return to the site of many of his deepest Grand Slam runs, yet most harrowing defeats.

Murray's 48-13 Australian Open record is second only at the majors to his mark at Wimbledon, where he has claimed 84 per cent of his matches. Only Novak Djokovic (four times) and Roger Federer (once) have denied him in the final.

Andy Murray with the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup in Melbourne

"It's been the Slam that I've probably played my best tennis at most consistently," Murray said.

"Just unfortunate I didn't manage to win one of the finals there, but I was also competing there against probably the two guys who've played the best tennis ever at the Australian Open, so that was unfortunate. Yeah, I feel like I deserve to win one of them. 

"I know nothing is a given in sports. I came close a couple of times but never quite managed to get over the final hurdle, but I love it, I love the tournament. It's brilliant."

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