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Beyond the Baseline

Andy Murray: Boycotting Australian Open was never an option

Andy Murray Andy Murray said he was unlikely to have boycotted the Australian Open. (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Andy Murray says he's pleased with the Australian Open's decision to increase its prize money over the next few years, but also says he was never going to join in a boycott the Slam if the players' prize money demands weren't met.

"I think the Australian Open has stepped up really well. They've obviously listened to the players and the ATP and have made a real effort to improve things," said the 25 year-old, the defending champion in Shanghai.

"You know, from my side, I never viewed striking at the Australian Open as a real option."

Come on, Andy, you don't flip your cards over to show you were bluffing after you've won yourself a big poker hand. I wrote last week that a part of me would have liked to have seen how this all would have played out if the Slams dug their heels in and called the ATP's bluff of a boycott. Would Murray have gone the way of the scab? Or would he hold the party line?

Luckily for the lower-ranked players it sounds like their prime negotiator, Roger Federer, is committed to keep the pressure on the Slams to pay up. Speaking in Shanghai, Federer made it clear that he didn't see the Australian Open's ballooning prize purse as charity. The players deserve the raise and they're coming for more.

"The question is, are we that extremely happy with the Australian Open? It was nice to see they have made a move. Is it significant enough? I'm not sure. We'll see how things play out in the next nine months," he added.

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