A five-time Australian Open finalist, Andy Murray returns in 2019 looking to get back among the elite after a testing 2018.
The former world No.1 underwent hip surgery and played just 13 matches as he made his way back – so how is the two-time Wimbledon champion shaping up?
Game Insight Group’s (GIG) ‘Player DNA’ analyses four key areas – Technical, Tactical, Physical and Mental – and Murray has a Physical DNA of 90, the ninth overall among Slam players over the past three years at the AO.
So with physical fitness so key to his success, GIG has analysed his two performances to date this year in Brisbane – a win over James Duckworth and a defeat by Daniil Medvedev – to get an early glimpse at his physical data.
READ - the complete guide to Player DNA
After he spent much of 2018 recovering from hip surgery, the big question is whether Murray can play with the same physicality as he has in some of his best years at the Australian Open.
Murray’s most recent appearance in a Melbourne final was in 2016, when he lost to Novak Djokovic. Using that year as a benchmark, tracking data of Murray’s shots and movement at Brisbane showed:
• No difference in the intensity of his shots. Murray’s average hitting load per 100 shots at AO 2016 was 123 and was 126 at Brisbane.
• He is working as hard as he did in 2016. Murray’s work load per 100 shots ranged from 485 KJ to 652 KJ over his seven matches to AO 2016. At Brisbane he averaged 616 KJ, well within the range of his effort two years ago.
• Murray’s sprints were down in Brisbane compared to his running stats at AO 2016. Murray averaged 40 sprints per 100 points in 2016 but just 24 per 100 points in Brisbane.
• Murray performed more quick changes in Brisbane than was typical in AO 2016. Murray averaged 50 quick changes (high-intensity changes of direction) per 100 points at AO 2016 but that was up to 64 in Brisbane.
Although it is difficult to draw any strong conclusions from just two matches, the Brisbane stats suggest Murray’s work capacity is at a strong level, although his patterns of movement may have shifted.
Whether those same patterns persist in the early rounds of the AO will be something to watch for in the first week.
With the Australian summer of tennis now underway, stay across Australian Open platforms for the latest updates and player profiles from the Game Insight Group.