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Australian Open Diary: Becker Backing Murray

Melbourne, Australia

Murray© AFP/Getty ImagesAndy Murray has the backing of 1991 and 1996 Australian Open champion Boris Becker to beat Novak Djokovic in Sunday's final.

ATPWorldTour.com takes a look at the news and talking points at the Australian Open on the second Saturday.

Becker Backing Murray
Former World No. 1 Boris Becker is backing Andy Murray to beat Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open final on Sunday and become a multiple major winner.

Writing a column for London’s Daily Telegraph newspaper, the German said, “The most significant change in the entire men’s game over the past 18 months has been Murray’s improvement and development. This is why I predict he will win his final in Melbourne against Novak Djokovic on Sunday.

“I expect it to be a similar type of match to the US Open final, a nail-biter over four or five sets, but deep down Murray knows he has what it takes to beat the defending champion.

“But Murray will not need any reminding that he is playing against the World No. 1, a five-time Grand Slam champion. Crucially, he also knows that he is playing the same man whom he beat in his last major final.”

Djokovic Ready For Final Battle

Hutchins Receives Murray's Support
Ross Hutchins has revealed in his Daily Mail newspaper column that he has been chatting to Murray “more or less every day” since he was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma. “We talk about his games, he asks me how I’m doing and we swap whatever funny things have happened to either of us that day,” said Hutchins.

“My treatment is going okay. I feel good. I had my second session of chemo on Thursday and that leaves you with a few headaches and chest pains. But it’s nothing too drastic. I’m doing all I can to eliminate side-effects so that the drugs can work inside me.

“That means healthy eating, sleeping properly and exercise. Seeing him get to the final does help me. Watching such a close friend doing well makes me happy. It puts a big smile on my face and lifts my spirits.”

A Quick Turnaround For The Bryans
Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan will have a quick turnaround ahead of their next challenge, helping the United States beat Brazil in the Davis Cup first round, in Jacksonville, from 1-3 February.

After the duo captured their 13th major doubles title, Bob Bryan said, “I [will] go to Auckland, to Los Angeles, drop the family off in Miami, spend the night with them, pick up some shoes. I have no shoes on right now. Go up to Jacksonville on Monday morning [and] practice an hour later. There's only one indoor court up there. We're going to be spending some long days on that court.”

Bryans Wins Sixth Melbourne Title 

Shark Bites: Record Breaking Bryans

Courier, Wilander Recall Their Title Memories
Jim Courier and Mats Wilander both spoke of their title successes at the Australian Open, during a legends lunch celebrating the career of Roy Emerson.

Wilander first picked up the title as a wild card in 1983, beating Ivan Lendl in the final. “That was the first time I really felt like I could play with the best players in the world on the surface that I usually played soccer on, or mini-tennis,” Wilander told the tournament website. “It was also the first time that I saw people paint their faces in their country’s colours.”

Courier recalled jumping into Melbourne’s Yarra River after clinching the 1992 and 1993 titles.

“The first year I had no idea it was the 18th-most polluted river in the world,” said Courier. “No one told me that until the next day ... it’s probably going to hurt the freckles, so that can’t be good.

“But superstitions are superstitions, and we went with it again, my coach and I decided to go in. When you win a tournament like this you have to celebrate. I have such great memories and it’s great to be back here again.”

Kyrgios Becomes Junior Champion
Nick Kyrgios became the boys’ champion after he beat his close friend and fellow Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis 7-6(4), 6-3 in the final.

"I'm going to take a lot of confidence out of this," said Kyrgios. "[There's] still a long way to go, it's a long journey, anything can happen, but right now I'm really happy … It was obviously a great experience being out there knowing that [Roger] Federer and Murray were grinding it out the night before."

Kyrgios is the fourth Australian to win the boys’ title in the past seven years, behind Brydan Klein (2007), Bernard Tomic (2008) and Luke Saville last year.

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