Jetlagged Murray off to flyer in Australian Open warm-up

He was exhausted by jetlag and struggled in the hot and humid conditions but Andy Murray still got his year off to a winning start in the Hopman Cup mixed team event in Perth yesterday. Murray overcame Potito Starace 7-5, 6-1 in his first singles, although defeat for Laura Robson against Francesca Schiavone, combined with a loss for the Britons in their mixed doubles, gave Italy victory in the match.

Murray is playing at the Hopman Cup for the second year in succession in the belief that it gives him the best chance to prepare for the Australian Open in Melbourne, which begins in 13 days. Twelve months ago, the world No 4 played some of the best tennis of his life en route to the final of the year's opening Grand Slam event before losing to Roger Federer in the final.

This time Murray was in action within 48 hours of his arrival in Perth from his winter training camp in Miami. The 23-year-old Scot made a slow start in the testing conditions inside the Burswood Dome and had to save a break point in the third game. Yet there was no break of serve until the 12th game, which Murray won to take the first set. Thereafter the Scot took control as Italian Starace, the world No 47, was comprehensively outplayed.

"I was breathing so hard after the first four or five games," Murray said afterwards. "There's not been a whole lot of time to get over jetlag yet. It's going to take some time to get used to the conditions."

Murray's victory levelled the match after Schiavone beat Robson 7-5, 6-3. The 16-year-old Briton has suffered with a cold in recent days but could be proud of her performance against the world No 7 and French Open champion. Robson took a 5-3 lead in the first set before Schiavone changed the course of the match by winning seven games in succession. The 2008 junior Wimbledon champion then staged a spirited fightback in the second set before Schiavone clinched victory.

The Britons made a good start in the mixed doubles, winning the first set tie-break 7-1 and breaking serve to lead 4-3 in the second set, but Murray in particular tired in the closing stages. The Italians edged a second tie-break 8-6 and went on to secure victory in the champions' tie-break by 10-2.

"It was a very long first day of the year," Murray admitted. "It's disappointing we didn't win but hopefully we can come through in the next one."

Murray and Robson are back in action tomorrow against France's Nicolas Mahut and Kristina Mladenovic. They then play Americans John Isner and Bethanie Mattek-Sands on Friday in their last round-robin match. The winners of the two four-team groups contest the final on Saturday.

Two British women playing in the WTA event in Auckland, New Zealand, enjoyed good victories yesterday. Anne Keothavong beat Romania's Edina Gallovits 6-7, 6-4, 6-0 to earn a second-round match against Ukraine's Kateryna Bondarenko, while Heather Watson reached the main draw with her third successive victory in qualifying, beating Italy's Alberta Brianti 6-3, 6-2. The former US Open junior champion was due to play Thailand's Noppawan Lertcheewakarn, who had beaten Britain's Katie O'Brien 6-0, 6-3 in the final round of qualifying, earlier today.

Andy Roddick needed only 72 minutes to beat Marinko Matosevic, an Australian wild card, 6-3, 6-2 in the Brisbane International, where the American is the defending champion.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee