Tennis: Murray moving into new territory

ANDY MURRAY will take a trip into the unknown when he kicks off his Australian Open preparations at the Hopman Cup today.

The British tennis No.1 number one has opted to forgo his title defence in Doha and play the mixed teams event in Perth for the first time as he seeks to acclimatise to conditions and the courts in Australia.

Murray, who will partner teenage rising talent Laura Robson as Great Britain's representatives in the eight-team tournament, is guaranteed three singles and mixed doubles matches in the round-robin format.

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The Scot was set to kick off his campaign against Kazakhstan's Andrey Golubev today before matches against Philipp Kohlschreiber (Germany) and Igor Andreev (Russia) in Group B.

"It will be interesting because I haven't played against Andreev or Kohlschreiber before and then with Kazakhstan I don't know them too well," said Murray, who will also cover new territory in the mixed doubles when he partners the 15-year-old Robson for the first time.

"It will be good fun. I've not played a lot of mixed doubles, but Laura's our most talented junior.

"She's still so young, she's only 15. She's grown a lot in the past couple of years and I think she has the chance to be very good."