In his first professional match of the season, British No. 1 Andy Murray had little trouble dispatching his opponent to move onto the second round of the tournament. He will now meet local favourie Marinko Matosevic, whom he holds a a 2-0 head to head lead over in the head-to-head series.
Murray, a three-time finalist in Australia, began his week in Melbourne with a straight sets victory over Yuki Bhambri. Murray struck 13 aces, won 79% of his first service points and 40 winners to close out the match 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(3).
“I thought it was a tricky match. He played very close to the baseline on that court. I feel it’s quicker than Rod Laver and Hisense. He was coming forward a lot. Even when I was hitting good returns, he was changing the direction of the ball very quickly and coming to the net. He played well up at the net. He had good hands, solid volleys and made it tough.
“I thought I served well the whole match. I served well. I just got caught a few times the first shot after the serve. Could have been a little bit better my first shot after the return. I don’t know if that was something to do with me feeling like the court was a bit quicker. I felt a little bit rushed there. I served very well. That was good.
Marinko Matosevic needed five sets to get past Russia’s Alexander Kudryavtsev to arrive in the second round of the Happy Slam. He hit 11 aces and 57 winners to secure the victory.
This marks the third time that these two competitors will cross paths on the professional tour with Murray leading the series 2-0. Their most recent meeting took place last year in the second round of the French Open. This will likely be another straightforward encounter.
Prediction: Andy Murray in Straight Sets