Australian Open: Sir Murray Through To Second Round

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Britain’s Andy Murray won his first Grand Slam match since becoming world number one but was given a stern test by world number 95 Illya Marchenko.

A clearly frustrated Murray was far from his best but reached the second round of the Australian Open with a 7-5 7-6 (7-5) 6-2 win over the Ukrainian.

The Scot, attempting to win his first Australian Open title after five final defeats, won in two hours 48 minutes.

Wimbledon champion Murray, 29, made a nervy start and lost the first game with three double faults and a forehand error, but took control to serve for the set at 5-3.

However, Marchenko broke the Scot again to draw level, only for Murray to raise his intensity and take the set after 55 minutes.

Murray became increasingly frustrated in the second set, berating himself for his errors and unusually sluggish movement, as his opponent grew in confidence.

The Ukrainian, 29, hit a series of powerful forehands and deft volleys to take the lead in the set.

Murray had to fight hard to force a tie-break, but once again the top seed did enough when it mattered to win the set after a marathon 76 minutes in hot conditions.

The gruelling effort seemed to affect Marchenko in the third set and Murray took advantage to win it without any complications.

He faces Russia’s Andrey Rublev in round two.


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