Murray rediscovers form to avenge reverse by Fish

Andy Murray cruised into the second round of the SAP Open in San Jose with a comfortable straight-sets win over Mardy Fish while his fellow Briton Greg Rusedski also won his first-round match in Marseilles yesterday.

Murray avenged a defeat in his only other match against the American ­ in three sets in Indianapolis last year ­ with a 6-2, 6-2 win. He fired down five aces and was broken only once while he converted six of his 11 break-point chances.

"That's the best match I've played this year so far," said the 18-year-old. "I feel like I'm hitting well and moving well. I've practised a lot in the last couple of weeks and I was happy with my serve tonight.

"Since I played him last year, this time I knew his strengths and weaknesses ­ and it helped me get my position early in the rally. I was aggressive on the right balls and I was taking risks and I played a really solid match. I'm really happy with how it went."

In the Marseilles Open, Rusedski won 6-3, 6-2, against the Frenchman, Nicolas Thomann. The Briton took the initiative early in the match, breaking his opponent and serving up eight first-set aces.

The British No 2's serve continued to dominate in the second set and he completed an easy victory on the back of two breaks.

Slovakia's Karol Beck, banned from the game for two years on Monday after a positive drugs test, claims an acquaintance spiked his drinks in a night-club.

In a tearful press conference yesterday, Beck, who plans to appeal against the ban, denied taking performance-enhancing products. He said: "I was at a nightclub with members of Slovakia's professional tennis circle," he said. "I never thought something like this could happen, but I have my suspicions who it was that did this to me. I have my reasons. I think someone did this to me on purpose. Slovaks are jealous of success.

"I hope the sentence will at least be reduced," he said. "But I have to keep practising, stay strong, have faith."

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