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Andy Murray of Britain celebrates after winning the match against Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia after their men's singles match at the Sydney Classic tennis tournament in Sydney. Image Credit: AFP

Former world number one Andy Murray said yesterday’s hard-fought victory over second seed Nikoloz Basilashvili at the Sydney Tennis Classic will boost his morale ahead of next week’s Australian Open.

Murray, who has slipped to 135th in the world rankings after long injury lay-offs due to hip surgery, fought back from a set down to beat higher-ranked Basilashvili 6-7(4) 7-6(3) 6-3 in a physical encounter that lasted over three hours.

The 34-year-old, who last played at the Australian Open in 2019, said he was delighted with his gritty display in Sydney.

'Not easy'

“It was very humid on the court, which your body can react slightly differently to... but yeah, not easy playing a match like that,” Murray told reporters. “A long one, finishing kind of late... and hanging around the whole day to play the match.

“I was happy how I handled the match physically. I would have rather it was shorter, but I think that can also give me a little bit of confidence.

“I still had a bit left in the tank there at the end, as well, so that will stand me in good stead if I’m in that situation next week in Melbourne.”

The Briton, a three-time Grand Slam champion, has been handed a wildcard into the main draw of the Australian Open which begins on Monday.