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Murray battles through in Brisbane


 

Originally published on: 03/01/12 12:21

Andy Murray endured a tough start to 2012 after toiling to a 5-7 6-3 6-2 victory over Mikhail Kukuskin in his opening match at the Brisbane International.

The world No.4 appeared to be struggling with a lower back problem and called the trainer to court to free up the strapping on his knee but dug deep to seal the win.

Kukushkin, who is ranked at 91 in the world, raced into a 5-1 lead in the opening set but only closed the opener out in the 12th game after a set that saw him break the Scot on three occasions. The Kazak held two more break points early in the second set but Murray dug in before scoring the second set’s only break in game four.

Murray, who will be joined by new coach Ivan Lendl later in the week, scored the match’s decisive break in the fifth game before riding out a battling victory in two hours and 10 minutes.

It’s hardly the ideal start for Murray but, given that his preparations for the Australian Open have been limited to Hopman Cup showings over the past two years, one that perhaps should not deliver much of an indication for the Scot’s form by the time the season’s opening Grand Slam commences in Melbourne on January 16.

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