Murray returns to the spotlight to prepare for Australia

It is only six weeks since Roger Federer brought down the curtain on the 2007 season by winning the Tennis Masters Cup but a new campaign is already under way. The Australian Open, the year's first Grand Slam event, starts in a fortnight's time and many of the world's leading players are getting their first taste of competitive action this week.

Andy Murray will be cutting down on his eventual journey Down Under by competing at the Qatar Open. The British No 1, who will round off his preparations by playing in an exhibition event in Melbourne next week, got 2007 off to a flying start by reaching the final in Doha but will be hard pressed to repeat that performance. He is in the same half of the draw as Nikolay Davydenko, the No 1 seed, and Belgium's Olivier Rochus is Murray's first-round opponent.

This will be the Scot's first public outing since his parting of the ways with his coach, Brad Gilbert, and his subsequent decision to work with a team of experts. Among those who have been working with Murray in Florida during his winter training have been Miles Maclagan, the former British Davis Cup player, and two new fitness trainers, Matt Little and Jez Green.

Murray will also play in the doubles in Doha, alongside Britain's Ross Hutchins. In the first round they face the top seeds, Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic. Meanwhile Murray's brother, Jamie, teams up with his regular new partner, Max Mirnyi, to face the No 3 seeds, Frantisek Cermak and Lukas Dlouhy.

Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal goes straight into action at the Chennai Open in India.

Serena Williams, the Australian Open champion, and Jelena Jankovic begin their campaigns at the Hopman Cup mixed team event in Perth, Nicole Vaidisova and Nadia Petrova head the field on the Australian Gold Coast and Lindsay Davenport, returning to the circuit after having a baby six months ago, will be the main attraction in Auckland.

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

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

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?