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.

Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Lewis Hamilton walks back to the pit lane with his Mercedes burning in the background
Formula 1
Arts and Entertainment
The new characters were announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con
comic-con 2014
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
Bryan had a bracelet given to him by his late father stolen during the raid
A rub on the tummy sprang Casey back to life
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
Tovey says of homeless charity the Pillion Trust : 'If it weren't for them and the park attendant I wouldn't be here today.'
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

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

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little