Andy Murray found his feet in the Melbourne heat on Wednesday, overcoming top Chinese player Zhang Zhizhen and confirming that any retirement is likely well in the future.
The 35-year-old with three Grand Slam titles and former No. 1 status. trailed 5-0 in the opening set at Kooyong club – former home of the Australian Open until 1988 – but roared back to school the No. 97 with a 2-6, 6-3, 10-2 scoreline.
The Kooyong Classic is considered the top tuneup for players prior to Monday’s start of the Open.
No. 49 Murray said that after a spell of illness in the off season, he is back to fighting fitness.
“A lot of things go into it (retirement): first there is my family, the most important. Then there is my health,” he said. “I’ve been healthy the last seven months.
“I’m not awakening with aches and pains like in the last few years.
“As long as the body holds up well and I’m training properly and performing to a level I’m enjoying, then I will keep going – but I don’t have a time frame.”
Murray said his spirits could not be high as he heads into the first Grand Slam of the season.
“I felt rushed at the start and a little bit slow on my feet,” he said of his Kooyong victory. “But once I got adjusted I served well and hit the ball nicely.”