Andy Murray will face Russia‘s Aslan Karatsev in his first ATP Tour final since 2019
at the Sydney Tennis Classic on Saturday morning.
Murray, who has endured years of injury woe, will compete in his first showpiece
match since the 2019 European Open, where he beat Stan Wawrinka to win his only
singles trophy since undergoing hip surgery in January 2019.
Victory in Sydney would be the ideal preparation for the Australian Open – which
starts on Monday – but he faces a tough assignment against Karatsev, who prevented
Dan Evans from setting up the first all-British final at ATP Tour level.
The British number two took on top seed Karatsev and slumped to a 6-3 first-set
defeat, but a lengthy tie-break in the second set kept the tie alive as Evans rallied to
post a 7-6 (15-13) second-set win.
However, after Evans’s foul-mouthed tirade towards officials over Karatsev’s five-
minute bathroom break, the Brit went down 3-6 in the deciding set to bow out at the
Karatsev and Murray will battle for glory in Sydney on Saturday, while Evans now
prepares for his Australian Open first-round tie with Goffin next week.
Murray’s agent Matt Gentry says the three-time Grand Slam champion rejected the
opportunity to play in Riyadh, for which sums of up to £1.5m were being offered to
tennis’ biggest stars.
“He’s turned down stuff in Saudi and I don’t think he would play there just because of
what’s gone on,” Gentry told the SportUnlocked podcast
If he feels strongly about something regardless, he’s at the stage where he will
happily call it out and he will have that debate with people. I don’t think he’s scared
to voice his opinion on it.”
Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal were scheduled to compete in an exhibition event
in Saudi Arabia in 2018 but it was called off due to the Spaniard being injured. Roger
Federer had already rejected an offer to participate.