London: Wimbledon champion Andy Murray said on Thursday that he will only compete in next year's Australian Open if he feels capable of mounting a serious challenge to win it.
Murray became the first British man to win Wimbledon for 77 years in July, but he missed the latter part of the season after undergoing surgery on his back in September.
He is now working his way back to full fitness, but says he will not cut any corners in his preparations for the Australian Open, which begins on January 13.
"I would be disappointed to miss the Australian Open because it's a Grand Slam. It is a tournament all the players want to play at," he said.
"But when you start setting targets -- especially when you are coming back from having surgery on your back; it's a serious thing to have done -- (it is important) that you don't come back just to play a match or to the Australian Open.
"If I come back, I want to be in shape to win it. I can look at this in a lot of positive ways and if I do get myself ready for it, I will have had a long lead-up and training block, really, to get myself in the best possible shape.
"Whether I make it or not depends on how things go once I get back on the tennis court. I haven't been on the tennis court yet, so I'm not sure."
It is now six weeks since Murray's operation and he says he intends to return to the court for the first time next week.
"Rehab has been going well. I haven't hit any balls yet, but all is on track," said the world number four.
"I'm hoping to hit a couple of balls next week, but very few and very light just to see how it is and I will start to progress from there. I have still got quite a way to go until I am 100 percent."
Murray was speaking at the launch of his new racquet, made by Head, at London's Queens Club.
"I saw it for the first time in January this year at the Australian Open and it looked very different and I started testing after Wimbledon," he said.
"For me, the most important thing is control. It gives me that and also you always want to try and add a little bit of power nowadays because the courts are slower and the balls are slower.
"You want to be able to hit the ball harder, more winners, serve harder, so it gives me a little bit of extra power without losing the control. Hopefully it will work well for me."