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By Richard Pagliaro| @Tennis_Now | Thursday, January 11, 2024
Andy Murray has prevailed as a wounded warrior at the Australian Open.

The ornery Murray has also created his fair share of self-inflicted wounds.

More: AO Women's Draw: Top 5 Takeaways

Five-time Australian Open finalist Murray has sometimes opted to vent his frustration pounding his hand off his racquet face like a boxer working over the speed bag.

These days, Murray aims to adopt a new attitude for the new year.

Rather than beating himself up, the two-time Olympic gold-medal champion aspires to be kinder to himself.

Realistically, don't expect a mirthful Murray at the Happy Slam, but he hopes to be a more positive presence.

"No, I won't be out there giggling on the court. That won't be happening," Murray told the media in Melbourne. "Yeah, it's more about how you're dealing with frustration and disappointment and everything when you're playing.

"I don't see Novak out there when he's playing his matches laughing and joking around. I never saw that with Roger and Rafa. It's not about that.

"It's probably how you're treating yourself in those moments and being a bit kinder to yourself, the people around you, lowering some of your own expectations, controlling what you can control."

A year ago an inspired Murray played Melbourne miracle maker. Murray outlasted Matteo Berrettini in a four hour and 49-minute thriller in his 2023 AO opener fighting through to a 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-7(7), 7-6(10-6) triumph for his first Top-20 win at a Slam since 2017.

Facing a dire two-set deficit in round two, Murray roared back to deliver a comeback for the ages on Margaret Court Arena.

Showing fierce appetite for the fight, Murray staged his second straight five-set stand conquering Australian Open doubles champion Thanasi Kokkinakis 4-6, 6-7(4), 7-6(5), 6-3, 7-5 in an epic five hour, 45 minute victory.

Despite those heroics, Murray felt as the 2023 season progressed his frustration sometimes hurt him in pressure moments.

This year Murray, who opens the 2024 AO campaign against 30th-seeded Tomas Martin Etcheverry, says he hopes to reset quicker on court after frustrating points.

"All of the players will sit in here and say exactly the same thing. It's just not that easy to do it when you're out there competing," Murray said. "That's the hard part, yeah, just to focus on the next shot, the next point. It's a very easy thing to say. We all know it. But doing it is difficult.

"Yeah, when I was younger, I obviously always got frustrated on the court, but I always felt like in the really important moments, I was always competing very well. Last year was getting frustrated, was not competing well in the important moments. That's something that I hope to change this year."

Photo credit: Clive Brunskill/Getty