Andy Murray has confirmed he is prepared to give up a place in the Australian Open final to attend the birth of his first child.
The Briton has been a losing finalist four times in Melbourne but, with his wife Kim expected to give birth in early February and this year's final slated for Jan. 31, he said he would head home immediately if she goes into premature labour at any stage of the tournament.
"I'm going to fly home [if labour starts just before the final]," Murray said in an on-court interview after defeating France's Kenny De Schepper 6-2, 6-2 in the Hopman Cup in Perth on Monday.
"We spoke about it and obviously it would be disappointing if I was to get to that position and not be able to play the final, but I also said I'd be way more disappointed winning the Australian Open and missing the birth of my child.
"It was quite an easy decision in the end, but hopefully it doesn't come to that. The baby's not due until the second week of February so hopefully everything will be fine."
Murray swatted aside De Schepper in Great Britain's Hopman opener, with the Scot back in action for the first time since guiding his country to Davis Cup glory against Belgium last year.
Murray, who is being partnered by Heather Watson in the mixed team event, admitted to feeling rusty as he returned to court, with a sore hip in particular troubling him after a gruelling pre-season training camp in Dubai.
"[The hip] is just sore," Murray admitted. "When you're playing the first match of the year, the intensity is a little bit higher than practice and you train hard in the off-season as well. It's not like you necessarily come in unbelievably fresh. I was still moving good, it's just a bit sore."
Watson, who recently announced Murray's mother Judy as her new interim coach, was unable to follow up the success of her teammate when she lost to Caroline Garcia 6-3 5-7 6-3.
Watson's defeat meant is was all to play for when the British and French pairs met later in the day, and it was the Brits who prevailed 2-1 overall following a 6-2, 5-7, 10-6 win.
The British duo sealed victory in a deciding tiebreak after they were pegged back by Kenny De Schepper and Caroline Garcia, with Murray jokingly suggesting that winning the match was "a bit more fun, a bit more laid back" alongside Watson than his recent Davis Cup doubles success with brother Jamie.
Elsewhere at the Hopman Cup, Serena Williams pulled out of her first match for the U.S. team citing a knee problem.