Andy Murray wins first match of 2024 tennis season with victory over Alexandre Muller at Qatar Open | Tennis News

by TexasDigitalMagazine.com

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Andy Murray won his first match of 2024 with an encouraging 6-1 7-6 (7-5) victory against Alexandre Muller at the Qatar Open.

Murray had lost his previous six matches but overcame an injury concern in the middle of the first set and played by far his best tennis of the season so far.

He will face Jakub Mensik from the Czech Republic in the second round on Wednesday, live on Sky Sports Tennis.

The 36-year-old will hope Tuesday’s victory in Doha marks a turning point after he insisted on “not stopping” and can play “better tennis” coming into this week amid talk about whether he will retire.

His performance against Muller will be encouraging as he found a good rhythm with his forehand and made less unforced errors compared to his other matches this year.

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Andy Murray says he hopes victory over Alexandre Muller is the beginning of a better run of form in his tennis.

“The last few months have been really tough on the court for me. I’ve not won many matches and lost a lot of close ones as well,” said Murray.

“It was getting tight at the end there as well, so delighted to get through. So many people came out to watch for a first round, which is brilliant.

“I’m just proud I managed to get through the match and get another win under my belt and happy for my team who have been working extremely hard with me to get through these difficult moments and hopefully this is the start of a better run.”

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Andy Murray wins his first match since 23rd October 2023 as he produces a blistering backhand winner to beat Alexandre Muller in the Qatar Open!

How Murray saw off Muller in Doha

Murray immediately looked good and was moving well in the early stages of the contest as he broke Muller on the Frenchman’s first service game, despite being 40-0 down in the second game.

He held serve to go 3-0 up but called for the trainer due to an issue with his knee, telling the physio he had a scan on his thigh on Monday and was feeling some pain.

The scan showed a cyst in his hip had burst and had gone down to his thigh, with Murray adding he “had something similar in December” and was concerned if his knee issue was connected to it.

Nevertheless, Murray was soon back on court and nearly broke his opponent for a second time but squandered two break points.

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Murray calls for his trainer after feeling a twinge in his knee during the first-round match

Just two games later though, some Murray brilliance at the net and a sublime forehand winner got him a second break and he held serve to win the set in 46 minutes.

Muller upped his game in the second but failed to capitalise on break-point chances in the fourth game. Both players continued to hold serve but at 3-3, Murray found the breakthrough with another stunning winner in a long rally to break Muller.

However, the Frenchman fought back straight away with a break of his own to make it 4-4. The next four games went to serve, so a tie-break was needed to decide the set.

Muller broke first with a superb drop shot to go 4-2 up in the tie-break but Murray showed some touch of his own to break back and it was soon 5-5. Murray won the next two points, finishing off with a brilliant backhand return to win in straight sets.

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