Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Murray recovers to oust Harrison

Updated January 17, 2012 21:43:39

British fourth seed Andy Murray bounced back from losing the opening set to oust American Ryan Harrison in four sets and reach the second round of the Australian Open on Tuesday.

Murray, twice a beaten finalist in Melbourne, defeated the 77th-ranked Harrison 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 in 3 hours 12 minutes.

The Scot recovered from his early setback to gain control and only lost nine games in the closing three sets to wrap up victory and a set up a second round meeting with Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin.

Murray's Florida training proved invaluable as the British hope handled the heat to progress to the second round.

"Obviously training in hot temperatures helps because you're used to it, but also for the last couple of weeks it's been very different (in Melbourne)," Murray said.

"Today was a bit of a shock to the system. It was good to get used to playing in that heat again because you might have to a bit further down the line."

Murray, bidding to become Britain's first male major winner since Fred Perry in 1936, safely negotiated the opening round obstacle where he faltered in his 2006 and 2008 visits.

"It's very different conditions to what we've been practising in," he said.

"The court plays different. It was incredibly hot today. Balls bouncing up very high, whereas it's been cool, and this court particularly reacts a lot with the temperature.

"It took me a little while to adjust to that."

Murray emphasised the significant effect of having eight-time slam winner Lendl as his coach this season.

"He understands how you might be feeling at the start of a grand slam, what it's like to play against someone that you haven't played against, what it's like playing in different conditions, how you feel in really warm conditions," Murray said.

"It's just good to have someone there that understands all of those things."

Murray, who lost to Novak Djokovic in last year's Melbourne final, broke 19-year-old Harrison's serve five times and hit a total of 47 winners to the American's 39.

The Scot remained unbeaten in six matches this year after winning the Brisbane International earlier this month.

Murray added that, "it's not for me to be disappointed" by the British wipeout on Monday's opening day, when five players failed to win a single set.

It leaves just Murray to fly the flag for Britain, a nation desperate to end decades of failure in grand slams.

"I'm not the person to be disappointed about that," he said.

"There are other people in charge that should be disappointed about it; not me.

"I'd rather there was more Brits winning, obviously, but it's not for me to be disappointed.


Tags: tennis, sport, melbourne-3000, vic, australia, scotland, united-kingdom

First posted January 17, 2012 20:01:35

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