Tennis: Andy Murray beaten by Janko Tipsarevic in Abu Dhabi

Andy Murray lost in straight sets to Janko Tipsarevic in the opening match of the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi. The Serb defeated the world number three 6-3 6-4 in the $250,000 exhibition tournament.

Even though it's not the start to the season he would have wanted, Murray says he will learn from the defeat ahead of the Australian Open, which starts on 14 January. "I have some things to work on in the next few weeks, but I am looking forward to it," he said. Murray is a two-time runner-up of the Australian Open. His preparations for the Grand Slam tournament will continue with the defence of the Brisbane International title he won earlier this year.

"I have been training very hard in Miami," he said. "I enjoy Australia and have had played some of my best tennis there, so I hope that I can do the same this year."

Murray lost just four points on his serve in the opening set, but all of them were in the fourth game where Tipsarevic broke to love to go 3-1 up. Murray had two break points in the ninth game, but Tipsarevic held firm before converting his fourth set point to take the first set 6-3. The Scot then dropped his serve again in the first game of the second set. The Olympic champion and US Open winner had a chance to break back in the fourth game, but Tipsarevic held our again and then kept his serve for the rest of the set.

Tipsarevic will face Spain's Nicolas Almagro in Friday's semi-final. World number 11 Almagro is a late replacement for Rafael Nadal, who withdrew from the six-player tournament with a stomach virus. In the day's other game, Spain's David Ferrer beat Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic 6-2 6-4 to set up a semi-final meeting with world number one Novak Djokovic.

Djokovic is the favourite to win this tournament, Bet365 have him priced at 4/9 for the crown, while David Ferrer comes in at 9/2 and Janko Tipsarevic at 6/1.

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