Murray progresses with ease at Australian Open

14 January 2014 / 09:21

Andy Murray didn't waste any time progressing past first round opponent Go Soeda at the Australian Open in Melbourne.

The three-time finalist, playing only his third match since returning from back injury, took just 87 minutes to beat his Japanese rival 6-1, 6-1, 6-3.

And with temperatures exceeding 40C, the Wimbledon champion was happy the world number 112 put up so little resistance.

Murray was been working out in the blazing sun of Florida throughout the holiday period to prepare him for Australia - though the weather in Miami is positively arctic compared to the heatwave enveloping Melbourne.

His fitness was never in doubt and he showed no signs of  injury, with an impressive service performance that saw him boom down 12 aces, convert 32 winners and concede no break points.

"This is a tournament I've come close at a few times so I'm more confident than I was a few years ago, but I'm lacking match practice," admitted Murray, a losing finalist in 2010, 2011 and 2013.

"I'm desperate to try to win here. I've had a lot of near misses and played some of the best tennis of my career here.

"The air is so hot. There are a lot of players struggling, but I'm happy to get it over with quickly.

"I was training over in Miami for five weeks to get ready for this but you can't prepare yourself for this."

Murray, the only British player in singles action following first round defeats for Laura Robson and Heather Watson, will now face American Wayne Odesnik or France's Vincent Millot in round two.

However, he admits the weather is going to dominate the headlines in the days to come.

"It only takes one bad thing to happen and it looks terrible for the whole sport," he added.

"If people are collapsing, that's obviously not great. The conditions at 2.30pm- 3pm were very tough and anyone is going to struggle in that heat.

"Whether it's safe or not, I don't know but you've got to be careful these days. There have been issues in other sports, with people having heart attacks, with people collapsing.

"For a number of reasons for me, I was nervous because this, for me, was a big test playing in these conditions. 

"Obviously, when the shadow came across the court it cooled down a bit but the air is extremely warm. It's not the easiest conditions I've played in. If you were playing on the outside courts in the sun, that would have been worse."

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