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Andy Murray opens year with Jeremy Chardy win, extends unbeaten streak to 25

In his first competitive match of 2017, the 29-year-old Andy Murray, dropped seven points in the first set in a 6-0, 7-6 (2) win over Jeremy Chardy at the Qatar Open on Tuesday.

tennis Updated: Jan 04, 2017 13:05 IST
Andy Murray,Novak Djokovic,Jeremy Chardy
World No. 1 Andy Murray returns to France's Jeremy Chardy at the ATP Qatar Open tennis competition in Doha.(AFP)

World No. 1 Andy Murray extended his career-best winning streak on the ATP Tour to 25 as he swept past Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-0, 7-6(2) in his opener at the Qatar Open on Tuesday.

In his first competitive match of 2017, the 29-year-old Scot, who received a knighthood in the New Year’s Honours list after a stunning 2016, dropped seven points in the first set.

Read more | Novak Djokovic is still the biggest rival, says World No.1 Andy Murray

Chardy, ranked 69, broke serve at the start of the second set and although he dropped his own immediately he pushed Murray hard for the rest of the match on a warm desert evening.

Twice Chardy held serve to stay in the match and stretch Murray into a tiebreak but the pressure eventually told on the Frenchman as Murray completed a useful workout when Chardy sent a forehand volley over the baseline.

Read more | Rafael Nadal hopes schedule change will bring him success in Australian Open

Olympic and Wimbledon champion Murray, bidding for a third Doha title after wins in 2008 and 2009, will play Austrian Gerald Melzer in the second round.

Read more | How Venus Williams was made to feel ‘old’ by a teenager

He is unbeaten in regular tournament play since losing to Kei Nishikori in the US Open quarterfinals in September and won his last five tournaments of 2016 to topple Novak Djokovic from the top of the rankings.

“He didnt’t start well and it’s always difficult in the first match of the year but in the second set he played extremely well and pushed me hard,” Murray said.

Defending champion Djokovic, who will be bidding for a seventh Australian Open title later this month,opened his account on Monday with a straight sets win against Jan-Lennard Struff .

First Published: Jan 04, 2017 12:56 IST