Murray gets 2013 off to a winning start
Originally published on: 03/01/13 00:00
It was at the same event last year that Murray began what would go on to become his greatest season on tour so far and the defending champion will be hoping the tournament in the Queensland capital will once more act as a catalyst for the year ahead.
The Scot’s first match of the year didn’t go all his own way. After storming into a 6-1 lead, Murray dropped the second set 5-7 to the Australian qualifier before prevailing 6-3 in the third set after two hours and five minutes.
"I think it was a pretty high quality match," said Murray, who received a bye in the first round. "[In the second set] he gained in confidence and started going for his shots more. He was returning my first serve extremely well and playing right up on the baseline and just going for big shots. It was tough for me to dictate too many of the points. I made some adjustments with the way I was serving in the third set that turned it around, but he played really, really well for the most part.”
Murray, who plays Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin in the next round, knocked in 71 per cent of his first serves against Millman and the US Open champion was taking the positives from his opening contest of the year.
"That was a perfect match in many ways to go through some tough moments, a lot of long rallies, close games, and important points. It was great to play in an atmosphere like that for the first match of the year, to get back into the swing of playing in front of large and loud crowds.
"No matter how much you practice, you can't replicate those sorts of atmospheres."