2019 Australian Open – Roberto Bautista Agut vs Andy Murray Preview & Prediction

THE FACTS

Where is Roberto Bautista Agut vs Andy Murray taking place? Hisense Arena, Melbourne

When is Roberto Bautista Agut vs Andy Murray on and what time does it start? Monday 14th January, 2019 - not before 07:00 (UK)

What channel is Roberto Bautista Agut vs Andy Murray on in the UK? This match will be televised on Eurosport (Sky channels 410 & 411)

Where can I stream Roberto Bautista Agut vs Andy Murray in the UK? Sky customers can stream this match on the Sky Go app. Alternatively, the match can be streamed to subscribers of Eurosport Player, either on the official website or as an add-on to an Amazon Prime subscription

Where can I get tickets for Roberto Bautista Agut vs Andy Murray? https://ausopen.com/tickets?da...

THE STATISTICS

THE LOWDOWN

ROBERTO BAUTISTA AGUT

  • Bautista Agut comes into this opener full of confidence after winning the 250-rated Qatar Open at the beginning of the month during which he claimed the scalps of Stan Wawrinka, Tomas Berdych and, most notably, world number one Novak Djokovic.
  • The Spaniard's game, in contrast to many of his compatriots, is best suited to hard courts as he hits the ball flat and he will look to utilise that attribute against Murray, particularly on his forehand side where he is strongest.
  • The world number 23 has failed to take a set off Murray in their three previous meetings but they have not faced each other since 2016 so the Spaniard will not put too much stock in those results as he looks to upset the five-time finalist.

ANDY MURRAY

  • Andy Murray takes to the court in what could well be his last tournament as a professional tennis player and, given the tough draw, this could even be his final match as his preparations have been severely hampered by what is ultimately a career-ending hip injury.
  • The Scot will receive plenty of support after his emotional announcement on Friday, particularly as he has reached the final on five separate occasions in Melbourne, and he will need every ounce of his fighting spirity to compete with Bautista Agut.
  • What little recent form there is to analyse will not fill Murray fans with much confidence as he lost in the second round of the Brisbane International to Daniil Medvedev and then was completely outclassed by old rival Novak Djokovic in a one-off warm-up match.

THE PREDICTION

There will be plenty of attention on this match as five-time runner-up Murray walks out on to court for what could potentially be the final time of his illustrious career. While the Scot was hoping to end his playing days at Wimbledon, his hip pain is likely to prevent him from doing so, and that does not bode well for his chances against a confident Bautista Agut.

Murray would be the heavy favourite here in his prime, but he is nowhere near that level and he will ultimately struggle to stand up to Bautista Agut, who is coming off a recent title success in Qatar. Given Murray's ability, he is likely to show flashes of his old form but it is difficult to imagine him maintaining a high standard after being so inactive in recent times. There will always be hope among Murray fans, but this could be where the journey ends for the three-time Grand Slam winner. Bautista Agut in three sets.