Andy Murray has squeezed past German qualifier Michael Berrer 6-3 4-6 6-4 in the first round of the Dubai Desert Classic Championships. This was the Scot's first match since last month's Australian Open semi-final defeat by Novak Djokovic and he looked rusty.
Murray seemed to struggle at times, either with the heat or some unspecified ailment, and he later confessed that he didn't "feel great" as the match kicked off, and felt sick on court.
Berrer is the size and shape of a Panzer tank and his offensive, bullying groundshots looked great until he dropped serve early on to concede the first set. The second looked like going the same way when Murray again broke. But the 31-year-old from Stuttgart came right back and took the set with some flashing backhands.
As the third set kicked off, Murray looked uncomfortable, despite an early break. After handing it back, the Scot was looking rubbery until the qualifier cracked at 4-4, crashing a wayward forehand to give Murray the 11th break of the match and a 5-4 lead. The world number four then finally closed out the match without further ado.
Murray will now face 185th-ranked Marco Chiudinelli in the second round.
It was a frustrating match because I was up a break in the second set, and I gave it back.
In the third set, again I went up a break and gave the break straight back. So I could have made it a little bit easier for myself if I played a bit better.