Andy Murray will begin preparation for his first Grand Slam as world No 1 at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi later today (Dec 30). The 29-year-old Briton is yet to win the Australian Open, having lost in the final of the season-opening Grand Slam five times since 2010.
Murray had a stunning 2016 as he achieved the world No 1 ranking for the first time in his career and also won the Wimbledon and Olympic crowns. The Scot dethroned Novak Djokovic in the year-ending ATP World Tour Finals in London to also finish the year as the top-ranked player.
Murray will square off against David Goffin in the semi-finals of the Mubadala Championship. Rafael Nadal and Milos Raonic are also taking part in the exhibition tournament. Murray will open his new season at the ATP Qatar Open before heading to Melbourne for the Australian Open.
“This year I just fancy doing something different,” Murray told The National newspaper. “It hasn't worked for me at the Aussie Open in the last few years. Probably nothing to do with my preparations, but it (going to Doha) splits the journey a little bit as well.
“So to split that trip up from doing one long trip to Australia might help. But I have enjoyed playing in Abu Dhabi and Doha in the past. I have had some success in Doha, so hopefully it will work well for me.
“It seems to have worked well for Novak as well over the years; hopefully it works for me too.”
Nadal beat Tomas Berdych and Goffin edged out Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Thursday, the opening day of the tournament.