Murray knows Anderson will be a tall order

Andy Murray says he will not look beyond his first opponent when the Australian Open begins here in Melbourne tomorrow. Given that the man standing in his path in the third match in Rod Laver Arena is Kevin Anderson, whose towering frame blocks out most of the horizon, the Scot hardly has a choice in the matter.

Anderson, a 6ft 8in South African, is one of a new breed of tennis giants, though he has some way to go if he wants to scale the heights reached by men such as Juan Martin del Potro and Marin Cilic. The 23-year-old world No 147 spends most of his time on the Challenger circuit, has lost in the first round on his three previous appearances at a Grand Slam and had to win three qualifying matches to earn another chance here.

This is Murray's fifth appearance at the Australian Open, which is his least successful Grand Slam event. He lost a five-set thriller to Rafael Nadal in the fourth round three years ago, but on each other occasion he has suffered disappointingly early exits, losing at the same stage to Fernando Verdasco in 2009 and to Juan Ignacio Chela and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the first round in 2006 and 2008.

"I feel like I learned a lot from what happened last year," Murray said. "I felt like I was playing well coming to the tournament. I had a good start in Doha and then felt like I played pretty well in the first three matches here. I didn't lose a set. Then, against Verdasco, I had a lot of chances to win and didn't take them. So there were a few things from that match that I improved on throughout the rest of the year."

Murray is seeded to meet Nadal in the quarter-finals but he is not looking that far ahead. "It doesn't affect me if Rafa's in my quarter if I lose in the fourth round or if I lose in the first round," he said.

The world No 5 said suggestions that the defending champion might never regain his best form after suffering knee problems last year were "a bit disrespectful". The Spaniard has not won a tournament since May and has lost 10 of his past 11 matches against top-10 opponents.

Murray said: "You can't say that he finished the year terribly. He had good, consistent results. He just didn't do that well against the top players.

"When you do have an injury or time out, it takes a bit of time to get back. When you start playing against the best players at the end of tournaments, they tend to be playing their best, and Rafa wasn't quite able to beat them. But you need to wait and see when it comes to the Slams and the big tournaments how he's going to come back. I'm sure he'll play well."

Louk Sorensen, a 25-year-old Irishman, will play in the first round of a Grand Slam for the first time after beating the New Zealander Daniel King-Turner in the final round of qualifying. The world No 287 now plays Taiwan's Yen-Hsun Lu.

Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol
art'Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' followed hoax reports artist had been arrested and unveiled
Life and Style

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

Stephanie first after her public appearance as a woman at Rad Fest 2014

Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'


Endangered species spotted in a creek in the Qinling mountains

peopleJust weeks after he created dress for Alamuddin-Clooney wedding
Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

football West Brom vs Man Utd match report: Blind grabs point, but away form a problem for Van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Leonardo DiCaprio talks during the press conference for the film

Film follows park rangers in the Congo

Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
Adel Taraabt in action for QPR against West Ham earlier this month
footballQPR boss says midfielder is 'not fit to play football'
First woman: Valentina Tereshkova
peopleNASA guinea pig Kate Greene thinks it might fly
Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album