Andy Murray makes winning return to action at the Japan Open

 

Andy Murray reached the second round of the Japan Open with a straight-sets win over Ivo Karlovic in his first match since winning the US Open.

Karlovic entered the tournament as a lucky loser after Murray's scheduled first-round opponent Gael Monfils withdrew due to injury.

Murray had won all four of his previous meetings with the giant Croatian, most recently in four sets at Wimbledon this summer, and was rarely troubled as he made it five from five.

The Scot failed to take any of his three break points in the first set but eventually prevailed in a tie-break.

The second set was progressing in a similarly serve-dominated manner until the 10th game, when Murray went up 0-40 to set up three match points.

Karlovic saved two, the first with a second-serve ace, but Murray took the third to wrap up a 7-6 (9/7) 6-4 win having not faced a single break point in the match.

He will face Lukas Lacko in the second round after the Slovakian hammered Spain's Albert Ramos 6-0 6-2.

PA

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