By Joe Bailey
Andy Murray won a testing encounter against Ukraine's Illya Marchenko on Monday to begin his 2017 Australian Open adventure. The Scot moved into round two with a 7-5, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2 win over the world number 95.

In the heat of the Melbourne afternoon, a net cord in the very first game forced a Murray forehand long when facing break point. However, he broke back to love immediately and then broke again at 2-1 up to move into the driving seat.

Marchenko was going for his shots and not always finding the mark, but with Murray serving for the first set at 5-3 the Ukrainian suddenly made some line-flirting attempts that hit home to get back in the contest.

Murray had generally set up shop some way behind the baseline and was allowing Ma...
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By Phil Messenger
Andy Murray was unable to prevent Novak Djokovic from retaining the Qatar Open title today. The Brit's 28 match winning streak ended in a tightly fought 3-6, 7-5, 4-6 loss.

Murray has never beaten Djokovic after losing the first set, and soon found himself in trouble in the eighth game of the match. A sequence of inexplicable unforced errors handed Djokovic a break, and the Serb held the advantge to take the set.

Djokovic broke early in the second set before serving for the match at 5-4. Murray fended off three match points before finally breaking back. A stupendous service hold followed, before Djokovic lost the plot. The Serb - already down a warning for an earlier infraction - smashed his racquet, earning a second warning and a penalty point.

Murray too...
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By Nigel Graber
Sir Andy Murray once again proved a class above Tomas Berdych today as he breezed past him and into the final of the Qatar Open in Doha. The Scot won his semi-final 6-3 6-4 to record his 28th straight tour win.

Berdych, now under the coaching wing of Goran Ivanisevic, began the match with a flurry of ill-advised drop shots. The Czech came up short in other areas, too, with a low first-serve strike rate contributing to a break at 1-2.

Largely playing possum to Berdych’s low-percentage power game, the world number one held on to clinch the first set and his 16th in succession against the big Czech.

The second set offered more of the same, despite Berdych winning more points on Murray’s serve in the second game than he did in the who...
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By Joe Bailey
Andy Murray today progressed into the semi-finals of the Qatar Open with a 7-6(7-4), 7-5 win against Spain's Nicolas Almagro.

The match started badly for Murray as he was immediately broken, but such setbacks so early in an encounter should not raise the heart rate of his fans by this stage of his career.

Murray duly broke back but suffered the inconvenience of a first set tiebreak, as he had yesterday against Gerald Melzer. This one proved slightly more straightforward, however, as he took it 7-4.

Murray and Almagro traded breaks again in the second set, before Murray broke as another tiebreak looked on the cards and successfully served out.

In Friday's semi-final Murray will face third seed Tomas Berdych, who also over...
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By Katie Finnegan
Andy Murray saw off a spirited challenge by world number 68 Gerald Melzer to reach the quarter-finals of the Qatar Open in Doha, eventually prevailing 7-6, 7-5.

Melzer took the match to the world number one from the beginning, playing at a level far higher than his current ranking. His aggressive hitting caused Murray problems but ultimately the Scot’s defence and ability to retrieve would-be winners proved too much of a barrier to overcome.

The first set saw four breaks of serve, neither player able to keep hold of his advantage. The Austrian was hitting big with good width, while Murray’s excellent defence was on full display. The top seed carved out two set points at 5-5, but Melzer saved both.

The set headed to a tiebreak. Mur...
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By Nigel Graber
Sir Andy Murray today battled past Jeremy Chardy 6-0 7-6(2) in the first round of the Qatar Open and extended his run of ATP victories to 25.

The world number one and newly minted knight faced only token resistance in the first set, but the Frenchman lifted his game in the second, gradually ironing out a horrific kink in his service toss.

In a 20-minute first set, the Scot broke at will, dictating play and tying the 69th-ranked Chardy in knots.

At the start of the second, Murray was perhaps guilty of taking a short mental holiday and conceded his serve in the very first game, but broke right back with some crushing service returns.

The duo then exchanged service breaks until the tiebreaker, when the Brit broke for a...
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