When is Andy Murray’s first round match at the Australian Open? How can I watch?

Britain's former world number one and five-time Australian Open finalist has said this could be his last tournament thanks to an ongoing hip injury

Andy Murray at the Australian Open, Getty

Andy Murray has tearfully admitted that his ongoing hip injury looks set to end his career, with plans to play his final tournament at Wimbledon. His imminent retirement is sad news for tennis and heartbreaking for the former British number one who has three Grand Slams to his name including two Wimbledon titles, the first British man in 77 years to win his home title.

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The Australian Open has always eluded him, despite five appearances in the final – most recently in 2016. And with the pain he still experiences, it’s unlikely he’ll get his hands on the trophy in his final attempt. But Murray will enter the draw, lining up against Roberto Bautista Agut in the first round. Here’s how you can watch his opening match at the Australian Open – possibly his last ever…

How can I watch Andy Murray play live in the Australian Open? What time is he playing?

Andy Murray will play his first round match on Monday 14th January. His is the fourth match scheduled at the Melbourne arena, after Kyle Edmund has completed his. Murray will not play before 7am UK time on Monday, which is after 6pm local time in Melbourne.

The Australian Open will be available to watch live on Eurosport in the UK. But if you don’t have it on your TV, there’s a cheaper option…

Andy Murray in the Australian Open, Getty
Andy Murray at the Australian Open,

If you subscribe to Amazon Prime, can watch Eurosport for six months for £0.01 using Amazon Channels.

After the first six months the Eurosport channel is £6.99 per month and your Amazon Prime membership will cost you £7.99 per month – but you can access it with a 30-day free trial.

If you want to access the Eurosport Player direct it’s £9.99 per month or £59.88 a year, again with a seven-day free trial at the beginning of your subscription – although the Australian Open lasts a fortnight so if you go down this route you’ll need to pay to see the entire tournament. 

Or – if you’re after a bit more versatility – you could subscribe to the TVPlayer PLUS Lite package for just £6.99, which allows access to the Eurosport 1 and 2 channels along with several others.

The BBC will also show highlights of the tournament if you’re just after the best bits with British matches likely to feature prominently in this format.

Who is Andy Murray playing in the first round of the Australian Open?

Murray has been handed a tough draw for this year’s tournament. The former world number one is unseeded after his ranking tumbled to 230 thanks to his long injury lay-off, and is facing the 22nd seed Roberto Bautista Agut in the first round.

Roberto Bautista Agut
Roberto Bautista Agut

Bautista Agut will be brimming with confidence after beating Novak Djokovic, Stan Warinka and Tomas Berdych en route to winning the Qatar Open last week. He has never got past the fourth round at the Australian Open (or any Grand Slam tournament) but will fancy his chances against a compromised Murray.

Who is Roberto Bautista Agut? 

The 30-year-old Spaniard turned pro in 2006 and has since accumulated nine career titles, including last week’s Qatar Open. He won a further two in 2018 in Auckland and Dubai. His career high ranking was 13 back in October 2017.

Murray leads the pair’s head-to-head with three wins out of three, the most recent coming in the final of the Shanghai Masters in 2016.

Is this Andy Murray’s last match?

It might be. Murray gave a tearful press conference on the eve of the Australian Open where he expressed hopes of playing his final match at Wimbledon, while admitting that the pain in his hip might make that impossible.

Andy Murray (Getty)
Andy Murray gets emotional during his Australian Open press conference

“I’m not sure I’m able to play through the pain for another four or five months,” he said. “I want to get to Wimbledon and stop but I’m not certain I can do that.”

Murray had to leave the room at one point overcome with emotion, before admitting: “I’m in a better place than I was six months ago but I’m still in a lot of pain. I can still play to a level, but not a level I have played at.”

Should Murray lose to Bautista Agut, it is possible he could end his career in Melbourne. But the tennis world will be willing him to make it to Centre Court one final time.

How old is Andy Murray?

Murray is 31 years old, making him a young tennis retiree. Current world number one Novak Djokovic is the same age, and Roger Federer – the Australian Open’s defending champion – is 37 years old. Fellow rival Rafael Nadal is 32 and all three are still playing.

What is wrong with Andy Murray’s hip?

Murray has described his hip as “severely damaged”, and has been in pain since the week before Wimbledon in 2017.

He underwent hip surgery last January and in March lost his British number one ranking to Kyle Edmund, eventually pulling out of 2018’s Wimbledon at the eleventh hour.

Murray underwent intensive rehab and before January had not played competitively since September 2018.

What are the highlights of Andy Murray’s career?

There are so many, but Murray will always be remembered for his 2013 Wimbledon victory, becoming the first British male in 77 years to lift the trophy with his straight set victory over Novak Djokovic.

He was already a Grand Slam champion – thanks to his 2012 US Open title – and he went on to win Wimbledon again in 2016.

Murray also won two Olympic gold medals – one in the 2012 London games and again in Rio in 2016 – plus a 2012 silver medal in the mixed doubles with Laura Robson. And in 2015 he steered the British team to a first Davis Cup title since 1936.

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The Australian Open takes place from Monday 14th January, concluding with the men’s final on Sunday 27th January