Andy Murray has made a sensational return to Australian tennis, making it all the way through to the final of the Sydney Tennis Classic this weekend.
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Although he lost to Russia's Aslan Karatsev, the 34-year-old is now looking ahead to the Australian Open in Melbourne. His participation comes after he missed the last two Australian Opens due to his pelvic injury and the pandemic.
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In his post-match speech, Andy was overcome with emotion as he touched upon how much he was missing his loved ones, wife Kim and their four children.
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"First time back in the finals for three years, it's been a long road to get back here but I couldn’t have done it without your help, so thank you," he told the audience after his defeat. "I'd also like to thank my family back home. I don't know if you were watching but I miss you all."
Ahead of his return to Melbourne Park on Tuesday, Andy also confessed he feels "guilty" leaving his young family at home in the UK after flying Down Under on 27 December.
Andy with his runners up trophy at the Sydney Tennis Classic this weekend
"I just think that as the kids get older, you build more of a relationship with them," he said. "I feel like it's better for them to have both of their parents around for stability and stuff.
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"It's obviously been difficult the last few years because you could travel with them but I don't think that it's great for the kids to be stuck in hotels and having loads of restrictions when it comes to tournaments."
The doting father hopes things will get better when his children grow up. "Hopefully, that will change and maybe they will be able to come to the odd tournament," he remarked. "But as the kids get older, they start to understand that you're going away as well. And you feel a bit of guilt about leaving them and whether it's the right thing to do or not.
Andy and wife Kim share four children
"In the last couple of years for sure that something has become more difficult. There is more to miss as the family gets bigger. And I think because I was around a lot as well for a number of years like with the injuries and stuff and then with COVID and everything, I got to be around my family all of the time.
"Once I started travelling again yeah, like I miss being around them. I miss seeing them regularly as well. So yeah, I think if I just maybe if I just kind of always been travelling through it I may have not got used to just being around them all the time as well."
The tennis ace continued: "[It will be a] bit easier when I'm in Europe and stuff and I can go back between tournaments and things. But like when you go away for like, five, six weeks at a time it's yeah, not ideal."
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