Share this story
Claim your Bonus
Get 100% up to SGD100 Bonus on your First Deposit
Andy Murray’s preparations for the Australian Open could see him make a surprise stop in New Zealand after his Qatar Open campaign came to an end in round two.
Murray was competing in his first ATP Tour event since back surgery and had impressed when putting wildcard Mousa Zayed to the sword 6-0 6-0 in round one.
The Scot had looked on course to make it two wins in a row in Doha against Florian Mayer in round two, taking control of the match when a set and 3-0 up.
However, the Wimbledon champion suffered an alarming collapse as his German opponent fought back to win the contest 3-6 6-4 6-2, with Murray managing to win just three more games from his dominant position.
It was the first time the 26-year-old had ever lost to Mayer in four previous meetings.
After the match, Mayer said: “In my mind, the match was finished when I was 6-3, 3-0 down. But I tried to play more aggressively, tried to risk something more.
“Of course he didn’t play his best tennis, but I knew that if I had any chance it would probably be today as he hadn’t played much.”
The two-time Grand Slam champion’s day got worse when he and partner Nenad Zimonjic lost in the men’s doubles to Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares 7-6 6-4, leaving Murray with no further competitive matches before the start of the Australian Open.
But all that could change after it emerged that the director of the Heineken Open in Auckland, Karl Budge, has offered Murray a wildcard spot for next week’s tournament.
Budge has yet to hear back from the Murray as to whether he will head to New Zealand to continue his preparations, rather than Melbourne, but with David Ferrer, Tommy Haas and John Isner amongst those playing in the tournament, it could provide Murray with some vital match practice.