After three months off the court following back surgery, Andy Murray will return to action in an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi on Boxing Day.
The 26-year-old Scot, having spent the last month stepping up his rehabilitation work at his training camp in Miami, faces Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. He will be hoping to demonstrate that he is on the way to recovering his full fitness and form in time for the Australian Open, which starts in less than three weeks' time.
Murray spent Christmas Day practising with his long-term friend and rival, Novak Djokovic. The world's top four players - Rafael Nadal, Djokovic, Murray and David Ferrer - head a top-quality field in Abu Dhabi. After the event Murray will make his first competitive appearance in next week's Qatar Open before heading to Australia for the year's opening Grand Slam tournament.
“Everyone is looking for matches at the beginning of the year,” Murray said. “Before Grand Slams if you can make it as close as you can to what the top players like to play in, you are going to get strong fields. It's just good preparation.”
The world No 4 returns to action with the aim of rediscovering the form that has already brought him two Grand Slam titles. “I want to try and win as much as I can,” he said. “I lost enough times in big matches to not want to do that. I don't want to lose four Slam finals in a row again. That was horrible. But I also know how hard it is to win those tournaments. It may never happen again, I might not win another one, but I just want to give myself the best chance to do that.”
Meanwhile Roger Federer has revealed that his wife, Mirka, is expecting another child next year. Their twins, Charlene and Myla, were born four years ago.