Andy Mur­ray get­ting back to form

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

ANDY MUR­RAY, 26, chalked up his first win since re­turn­ing to ac­tion af­ter a three- month in­jury lay- off by de­feat­ing Switzer­land’s Stanis­las Wawrinka 6-3, 6-4 in Abu Dhabi yes­ter­day.

The Wim­ble­don cham­pion had back surgery in Septem­ber and did not play again un­til he lost to Jo-Wil­fried Tsonga in the quar­ter-fi­nals of the same Mud­a­bala World Ten­nis Cham­pi­onship ex­hi­bi­tion tour­na­ment on Thurs­day.

Wawrinka lost to David Fer­rer on the same day and the match be­tween him and Mur­ray was to de­cide who would fin­ish fifth in the un­of­fi­cial three-day tour­na­ment that sees the world’s top two play­ers – Rafael Nadal and No­vak Djokovic only join­ing in at the semi-fi­nal stage.

Mur­ray looked much sharper against Fer­rer than in the sec­ond set against Tsonga and had lit­tle dif­fi­culty in see­ing off the chal­lenge of the world num­ber eight.

The world num­ber four got the bet­ter of three suc­ces­sive breaks to take the first set and then forged ahead again with a break for 4-3 in the sec­ond.

Wawrinka saved a match point on his own serve with a fore­hand win­ner, but Mur­ray con­fi­dently served out the vic­tory. In a court­side in­ter­view Mur­ray said: “I feel pretty good, a lot bet­ter than I did a few months ago. I just need to play more matches like this be­cause the in­ten­sity’s a lot higher than you can pos­si­bly get in prac­tice ses­sions.

“It was good to get two matches against top play­ers. Ev­ery­one needs matches at this stage, es­pe­cially me. It’s been a near-per­fect start and hope­fully I’ll get bet­ter.”

Mur­ray will next make the short trip over to Doha where he will play in the AFP sea­sonopener tour­na­ment.

In Abu Dhabi the semi­fi­nals be­ing played later in the day will see Nadal take on Fer­rer and Djokovic go­ing up against Tsonga. – Sapa-AFP

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