Andy Murray Recovers From Struggles To Overcome World No 317 Yuki Bhambri At Australian Open
Andy Murray told tennis fans to ignore his on-court mutterings after coming through a "tricky" opening match against the lowest ranked player at the Australian Open.
The world No 6 dropped his serve twice and was forced to a third-set tie break by world No 317 Yuki Bhambri. And the Scot could be heard complaining to himself and saying "shocking movement" before winning 6-3 6-4 7-6 in two hours and 13 minutes against the Indian. He will next meet the Aussie appropriately nicknamed Mad Dog – world No 81 Markinko Matosevic – in the second round.
But Murray insisted he had not been losing the plot out on the new Margaret Court Arena.
"I think in some sense when you”re playing you tend to say things that you don”t really mean," the British No 1 explained. "That”s just how the brain works. I”ve learned a lot about that over the last couple years. That”s just a normal thing to say. I do feel like he made me feel that way because of the way he was playing. He was rushing me.
"I was saying it was more my movement after the return or after the serve. I was a little bit slow there. Once I got into the rallies I was moving good. But because of the way he was playing, and also maybe just feeling that court was a bit quicker, I thought it was a little bit slow on the first shot of each rally. But that will get better."
The only thing that did not look about Murray in the early exchanges was his new Shrek-green coloured kit. He made an early break but was broken back during a strange five minutes where a helicopter flew overhead to stop play, a spectator complained loudly the canopy over the player seating was blocking his view and then Murray left a ball which dropped on the baseline. He challenged unsuccessfully.
Murray did not drop another game in the first set but after appearing to restore order by comfortably taking the second set, he needed another 55 minutes to finally see off the former Junior No 1 who won the junior title here in 2009.
"I thought it was a tricky match," said the three-time finalist here. "He”s way better than ranked 300 in the world. He missed five or six months last year through a heel injury. And I would imagine by the end of this year he would definitely be around a hundred in the world."
It was India”s second defeat here in the last 24 hours after their cricket team lost at the MCG last night.
Murray and Matosevic have met twice before in official matches and also at the Hopman Cup earlier this month with the Scot winning each time in straight sets.
"I”m sure it will be a good atmosphere," said the world No 6. "I know Marinko very well. I get on well with him. Yeah, he hasn”t won any Grand Slam match since the French Open last year and now I think he”s starting to relax and loosen up once he got the win at the French Open. He”s a good ball striker. Big guy. Serves well. He works extremely hard. He has a good work ethic. It will be a fun match."
Rafa Nadal came through his return to Grand Slam tennis in straight sets against Mikhail Youzhny 6-3 6-2 6-2.