“(Taking me as a coach) was not a PR thing. It was a profound conviction he had from his education, his open-mindedness.
“He is not afraid of his own sensitiveness, on the contrary. To me, he has been undervalued as a man, not as a tennis player.”
Murray broke down on Friday when he told a news conference that the severe pain from his troublesome right hip had become almost unbearable for him to play on.
What’s the head to head?
Murray has won all three of their previous meetings in straight sets – in the Round of 32 at Wimbledon in 2014, in the semi-final at Munich a year later and in the final of the 2016 Shanghai Masters.
What are they saying?
Andy Murray focused on his injury and impending retirement but confirmed he would play:
“In the middle to the end of December in my training block, I spoke to my team, and I told them, ‘I cannot keep doing this.’ I needed to have an end point because I was playing with no idea when the pain was going to stop. I felt like making that decision. I said to my team, ‘Look, I think I can get through this until Wimbledon. That’s where I would like to stop playing.’ But I am not certain I am able to do that.
“Yes, I am going to play. I can still play to a level, but not a level I am happy playing at. “
Bautista Agut has not spoken specifically about the draw but said after winning last week’s Qatar Open: “It’s been a fantastic week for me. Today it was not easy to manage all the emotions I had on court.”
“Why can I not be close to the top 10? he said and said his aim was to turn up at Melbourne “fresh” and win as many matches as he can.