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Murray's route to Aussie final

Sky Sports logo Sky Sports 16-01-2016
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Following the draw for the Australian Open, we have plotted Andy Murray's possible path to another Melbourne final. 

The world No 2 suffered a frustrating defeat to Novak Djokovic in last year's final, but can Murray make a triumphant challenge for the title this year?

Here are his likely opponents on his route to the final...


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First round v Alexander Zverev

Murray went head-to-head with the German teenager at the recent Hopman Cup, claiming a 6-3 6-4 win over Zverev.

The 18-year-old is considered one of the rising talents of the game and at World No 83 is the youngest member of the top 100.

But Zverev's best appearance at a major tournament was last year's second round showing at Wimbledon and the gulf in experience could be crucial when he takes on a two-time Grand Slam title winner.

Second round v Sam Groth

The Australian should be a familiar face to British tennis fans as he was a member of the Australian Davis Cup final team that travelled to Glasgow last September.

Groth did not compete in any singles matches, but lined up with Lleyton Hewitt in a doubles defeat to the Murray brothers during Britain's semi-final win.

Home fans will be firmly behind the 28-year-old, who advanced to the third round of last year's tournament.

Third round v Joao Sousa

The Portuguese player has been a familiar foe for Murray in recent times, facing the Scot on five occasions in the last two years - and losing every time.

But the recent meeting at last year's French Open proved the most competitive, with Sousa taking a set before losing in four.

The pair previously met at last year's Australian Open, which saw Murray cruise to a three-set win.

Fourth round v Bernard Tomic

The Australian is no stranger to controversy and he received fresh criticism after pulling out of the Sydney Masters - in the middle of a match - because he wanted to focus his efforts on the Melbourne competition.

Tomic was also a member of the national team that suffered a Davis Cup semi-final defeat to Britain and Murray swept aside the 23-year-old in straight sets in the singles.

But the world No 17 did reach the fourth round 12 months ago and is another home hope who will benefit from patriotic support.

Quarter-final v David Ferrer

Ferrer is a two-time semi-finalist, but might not relish another encounter with Murray who has won all of their last five matches.

The British No 1 completed a hat-trick of 2015 wins over Ferrer and two of those triumphs came on the Spaniard's favoured clay surface.

In their most recent clash, Murray sealed a 6-4 6-4 win at the season-ending ATP World Tour finals.

Semi-final v Stan Wawrinka

Wawrinka could stand in the way of Murray's attempts to reach a second consecutive final, although Rafael Nadal is also a potential opponent at this stage.

The pair played each other at the ATP World Tour finals in December and Wawrinka ended the Brit's participation with a 7-6 6-4 win.

Wawrinka took the title in 2014 and the French Open champion would be a formidable opponent for Murray in the semis.

Final v Novak Djokovic

The world No 1 reached all four of last year's Grand Slam tournaments and Djokovic, the defending champion, will be heavily favoured to stride out onto court on finals' day.

Murray, like many of his rivals, has a lop-sided record against Djokovic, losing nine of their last 10 games.

He troubled the Serb in the opening two sets of last year's final, but then slumped dramatically to a 7-6 6-7 6-3 6-0 defeat.

Murray did win one of their six meetings in 2015, taking a two-set victory in the Montreal Masters final, and at least will carry plenty experience into another showdown with the sport's stand-out player.

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