15th of January 2013 Author: Johnny Karp
Andy Murray started his Australian Open campaign with a relatively easy straight-sets win over Robin Haase in Melbourne. The British number stormed to a 6-3 6-1 6-3 victory in just one hour and 37 minutes. Haase took Murray to five sets at the 2011 US Open, but this time things were totally different right from the start. Murray clinched two early breaks of serve and the world number three was rarely troubled on his way to victory.
Murray, the reigning US Open champion, is trying to become the first man to clinch another major title after his maiden Grand Slam crown. Asked if he felt different walking onto court as a Grand Slam champion, Murray said: "Not really, it didn't feel much difference to me. I was still nervous before I went on to the play the match. I think when I would see the benefits of it is if I get myself deep into a Slam this year and you're playing against the top players. That's when I think you'll draw on that experience and use it in the right way."
Murray showed who's boss as early as the third game, winning a long rally before drawing a wild volley from Haase to break. The advantage extended to 4-1 soon after, and then Murray saw off five break points to claim the set. The Scot then rolled through the second set in 26 minutes and broke to love at the start of the third with a backhand winner down the line. Haase then clinched a break but Murray broke for the eighth time to secure the win.
"I started the year well in Brisbane but obviously coming into the Slams, the first match is normally pretty tough," added Murray. "There's nerves in the build-up. You've just got to try and focus and play solid, not make too many silly mistakes. I did a good job of that today. It's always nice to get through the first round of a tournament, but especially here."
Andy Murray will meet Portuguese player Joao Sousa in the second round and is priced at 11/4 by Bet365 to win the tournament. The favourite is Novak Djokovic, priced at 10/11.
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