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Serbian world number one Novak Djokovic gave Andy Murray a reality check in the lead up to next week’s Australian Open, dominating the Briton 6-1 4-1 in a practice match at Melbourne Park on Thursday, reports Reuters.
Murray has struggled to regain form since undergoing hip surgery last January, and was quickly dismantled by the six-times Australian Open champion at Margaret Court Arena before the players called time on their match after less than an hour.
Djokovic heads into the tournament as favourite to win a record seventh title and his third Grand Slam in a row, while five-times runner-up Murray, now ranked 230th, will have far lower expectations at the event starting on Monday.
The 31-year-old three-times major champion returned to action last
June but the former world number one cut short a deflating season in September.
The Scot did enjoy a winning start to his season with a victory over local player James Duckworth at the Bris­bane Inter­national on Jan. 1 but was well beaten by Russian fourth seed Daniil Med­vedev in the next round.
Murray is playing in Australia under his protected ranking of world number two, which is used to
help players who have suffered
long-term injuries, but the
lack of a seeding leaves him
exposed to the prospect of a tough
early draw.