Tennis

Murray overcomes slow start

2012-01-03 14:27
Andy Murray (File)

Brisbane - Andy Murray shook off some rustiness and overcame a number of big returns from Mikhail Kukushkin to win his first singles match since late November and advance to the second round of the Brisbane International.

Top-seeded Murray lost the opening four games before he rallied to beat Kazakhstan's Kukushkin 5-7, 6-3, 6-2 in two hours on Tuesday.

Murray hadn't played a singles match since he withdrew from the season-ending World Tour Finals at London with an injured groin. He announced on the weekend that he'd hired eight-time Grand Slam winner Ivan Lendl as a coach in a bid to break his drought at the majors.

No British man has won a Grand Slam singles title since Fred Perry in 1936, and Murray has been runner-up three times - losing the last two Australian Open finals.

Lendl is expected to join Murray ahead of the Australian Open, which starts January 16 in Melbourne.

They'll have a lot to work on judging by Murray's season-opening performance.

He dropped serve in the first and third games of the match and, after coming back and having a game point at 5-5 on his own serve, inexplicably didn't play a shot to one of Kukushkin's ground strokes which kissed the baseline.

Murray called for a review, which showed the ball was good, and the No 91-ranked Kukushkin also won the next two points to break serve again and held for the set.

Murray hobbled at times and clutched at his right leg, which was taped below the knee, but scrambled well enough to chase down a drop shot and send a passing shot down the line to convert a break-point chance for a 3-1 lead in the second.

From then, he was always in front, with Kukushkin becoming more errant as he pushed harder on his ground strokes.

The 24-year-old Scot had enough energy to leap high and punch the air to celebrate the win.

"He was hitting winners from all over the place. I was a little bit slow, I didn't expect him to come out swinging like that in the first match of the year," Murray said. "You have to be mentally ready from the start, and I wasn't quite there. I played better at the end."

Murray will play Gilles Muller of Luxembourg on Wednesday night.

In women's matches, second-seeded Andrea Petkovic of Germany advanced to the quarter-finals with a 7-6 (2), 6-0 win over Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic.

Joining Petkovic in the final eight will be 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone of Italy, who beat Galina Voskoboeva of Kazakhstan 6-4, 6-4.

Defending Australian Open champion Kim Clijsters and former French Open winner Ana Ivanovic were playing later on Tuesday for a spot in the quarter-finals.

NEXT ON SPORT24X

Wawrinka wins in Monte Carlo

2014-04-20 18:04

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Sport Talk

Live scoring

 
 
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured Blog

The stock of Bulls and Sharks 2014 Super Rugby jerseys are slowly becoming available after the festive season break, writes blogger Baylion.

Latest blogs
Vote

Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.