Andy Murray a threat at Australian Open insists Novak Djokovic

Andy Murray takes a break during a practice session with Australia's Alex de Minaur in Brisbane. Picture: Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images
Andy Murray takes a break during a practice session with Australia's Alex de Minaur in Brisbane. Picture: Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images
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Andy Murray will still pose a threat at next month’s Australian Open, world No 1 Novak Djokovic has predicted, writes Lorin McDougall.

The Scot played only six tournaments this year following hip surgery last January and his world ranking plummeted to 256, but Djokovic warned: “I always see him as a top player regardless of his ranking.

“He was number one in the world and a multiple Grand Slam winner, so he has that number one and champions’ mentality.

Speaking at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi after beating South African Kevin Anderson 4-6, 7-5, 7-5 in the final, Djokovic said: “I’ve known Andy since we were 11 or 12 years old and I have tonnes of respect for him, for his game and his dedication and devotion to training. He’s a very humble guy and very respectful of the game and his peers, so it’s going to be very interesting to see how he plays.”

Murray launches his latest comeback at this week’s Brisbane International where he remains unbeaten after winning in 2012 and 2013. The former Wimbledon champion faces Australian wild card James Duckworth in round one tomorrow