WATCH: Andy Murray avenges Australian Open misery with magic in Doha
Andy Murray was dominant in his first round Qatar Open victory over world number 110 Taro Daniel, the man who dumped him out of the Australian Open.
Daniel overcame Murray in Melbourne 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 to end the Brit’s campaign Down Under early before himself being ousted by world number 10 Jannik Sinner in the third round.
This time around, Murray had Daniel’s number as he downed the Japanese 6-2, 6-2 to claim his first win in Doha since last competing there in 2017, when he reached the final before losing to Novak Djokovic.
Murray is a two-time champion in Doha, having won the ATP 250 event back-to-back in 2008 and 2009, reaching the final two more times in 2007 and 2017.
With just five previous appearances at the Qatar Open, today’s win brings the former world number one to an impressive 20-3 record there over the years.
Next up the Brit faces second seed Roberto Bautista Agut.
The Spaniard has won in Doha himself, back in 2019, and was a finalist last year, losing to Nikoloz Basilashvili.
Murray is 3-1 against Bautista Agut, his only loss to the 33-year-old coming in the first round of the 2019 Australian Open in an emotional battle that at the time looked like it could be the end of Murray’s professional career.
Should Murray get past the Spaniard, he would either face one of Bautista Agut’s countrymen in Alejandro Davidovich Fokina or a compatriot of his own in fifth seed Dan Evans.
Both match-ups would be a first time meeting, but Murray will no doubt be more familiar with Evans as a fellow Brit and former Davis Cup teammate, the 31-year-old being a substitute in the 2015 Davis Cup Final for Great Britain’s famous triumph over Belgium that year.
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