Andy Murray could boycott the 2018 Australian Open

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Andy Murray got his 2017 French Open campaign off to a reasonably convincing start against Andrey Kuznetsov on Tuesday.

The top seed recovered from a slow start to dispose of his Russian opponent 6-4, 4-6, 6-2, 6-0 and progress to the second round.

Murray – who has made at least the quarter-finals at every Roland Garros he has played since 2011 – will be looking for tidier performance against Slovakia's Martin Klizan on Thursday.

The Scotsman is under pressure to reach the latter stages in Paris having bundled out of the fourth round at the Australian Open in January.

Murray is usually among the tournament favourites each time the first grand slam of the year comes around Down Under; however, there is a chance he will choose not to participate in 2018.

Much has been made of Australian tennis icon Margaret Court expressing her controversial views against gay marriage, sparking calls for players to boycott the Melbourne Park event unless the arena named after the 74-year-old undergoes a name change.

Murray – an Australian Open runner-up on five occasions – has been asked whether the would consider pulling out of the tournament in a show of support.

“If something was to be done, I think it would be a lot more beneficial to do it before the tournament starts,” he said, as per the Independent.

“For players to be in a position where you're in a slam and boycotting playing on the court, I think would potentially cause a lot of issues.

“So I think if something was going to be happen and the players come to an agreement, if they think the name should be changed or whatever, that should be decided before the event starts.

“But I would imagine a lot of the players would be pretty offended. So we'll see what happens.

Murray is arguably the most prominent figure yet to suggest he may refuse to play at the 2018 Australian Open, but he almost certainly will not be the last.

It will be interesting to see how Tennis Australia handles the ongoing saga, especially if the campaign to boycott the tournament gathers momentum in the coming months.

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Rafael Nadal
Andy Murray
US Open Tennis
Roger Federer
French Open
Australian Open

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