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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 January 2008, 12:26 GMT
Murray v Rochus as it happened
Qatar Open

First round result


6-0 6-2


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By David Ornstein

Murray 6-0 6-2 Rochus
Game, set and match Murray. Rochus continued to fight, taking a 0-30 lead in the final game, but he simply couldn't cope with Murray's power. The match ended with Rochus returning a thunderous Murray serve into the net.

Murray waves to the lacklustre crowd but, fully aware that tougher tests lie ahead, his face is more a picture of determination than jubilation.

In Doha last year Murray memorably unleashed a verbal volley at Gilbert but there was no petulance this time round and, more importantly, no sign whatsoever of him holding back on the wrist he injured in May.

A clash against world number four Nikolay Davydenko will await if both men reach the semi-finals but on this form Murray will be confident of beating anyone.

In terms of preparations for the Australian Open, it's so far so good.

Murray 6-0 5-2 Rochus
One minute Rochus appears to be racing to 4-3. Then Murray produces a lovely backhand drop-shot to save game point. He works his way back into the game and looks set to break for the sixth time in the match. But Rochus finds his second wind and Murray is struggling to keep up with his variation. Poor shot selection sees numerous game-points squandered by Rochus before Murray turns the screw and takes the game when Rochus goes long. A funny old game, tennis.

Now Murray is serving for the match.

"Why did I open my big mouth. Rochus revival."
supersmude on 606

Murray 6-0 4-2 Rochus
Wow. Rochus breaks. Murray looked the teeniest tad tired from the previous game and his opponent capitalised. Some nice sliced backhand troubled the young man from Dunblane and it looks like we have a match on our hands after all.

Murray 6-0 4-1 Rochus
Rochus battles back admirably from 15-40 on his own serve to win his first game of the match. Murray's intense fitness work, supervised by Jez Green and Matt Little (who is in the stands alongside Miles Maclagen), is being tested as Rochus repeatedly brings him into the net and then sends long. Murray is coping well, though he can't prevent Rochus taking the game.

Murray 6-0 4-0 Rochus
Against Murray's serve, Rochus is having no luck at all.

Murray 6-0 3-0 Rochus
Rochus was showing some signs of working his way back into the match but Murray slammed the door shut. Admittedly he required five break points to take the third game of the second set but as soon as Rochus had a sniff of winning the game Murray upped the intensity. He finished the game with a sublime forehand following another lob that the diminutive Rochus only just reached. This is great stuff from Muzza.

"Murray looks in the best shape of his life and I can see him strolling through this match - and indeed the tournament. Unlike previous years, it looks as though Murray has the power and stamina to survive and contest a five-set match, and I can't see too many players 'bullying' him off the court."
sja2008 on 606

Murray 6-0 2-0 Rochus
Murray's bagging games quicker then I can type.

Murray 6-0 1-0 Rochus
Rochus is gesticulating as to suggest he's injured his right shoulder, but that was no excuse for not winning the first game of the second set. He wasted a number of game points, allowing Murray to press home his authority.

"Murray's got too much for Rochus. He's winning the baseline exchanges, Rochus comes into the net he is being passed or lobbed. For Murray everything seems to be firing. But he cant afford to switch off now."
Ruggers on 606

"I reckon it'll be a top 5 finish for Murray this year! Come on Andy!"
Alex in Oxford, via text


Murray 6-0 Rochus
Rochus looks helpless as Murray wraps up the first set with a love service game. The Brit couldn't have hoped for a better start to his season. Rochus is no mug but this match looks to be going one way and it's not his.

Murray 5-0 Rochus
A fourth successive break means Murray will serve for the set having barely broken sweat. We're yet to even see the famous fist pumps and self-motivational shrieks of "cumon!"

Murray 4-0 Rochus
Just as impressive on his own serve as against the Belgian's, Murray holds to 15 with a sublime backhand lob.

Murray 3-0 Rochus
Rochus vowed to dictate the rallies but he is doing nothing of the sort, in no small part down to Murray's willingness to play from both the baseline or the net. His backhand is really catching the eye and this first set is one way traffic.

Murray 2-0 Rochus
Murray holds serve but does record the game's first double fault en route.

"Watching on Eurosport and totally frustrated already by headlines going across bottom of screen."
supersmude on 606

Murray 1-0 Rochus
Murray looks fit and hungry, taking the game on his fourth break point. These guys mean business - one rally lasted 32 shots - but Murray shows a combination excellent patience and powerful ground stroked to gain an early advantage.

For the record, Murray finished last season with the third highest percentage of games won on his opponents' serve. Only David Ferrer and Rafa Nadal boasted better stats.

1240: The players are warming up for their first ever meeting and the stadium is looking far from full. This match may be a relatively low key affair in Qatar but it marks the start of a massive season for Murray.

Here we go...

1230: Murray is making his first appearance since splitting from Brad Gilbert and it will be interesting to see which of his newly-assembled backroom team are courtside today. This has been Murray's longest ever session of off-season training (five weeks) and the murmurs emanating from Team Murray have been positive.

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1225: Rochus' game-plan against Murray, ranked 11 in the world and seeded three in Doha, seems pretty clear.

"My job will be to use my size to try to dictate the rallies," said the 5ft 5ins world number 48.

1220: Fortunately, I managed to rock up at BBC towers in good time after my New Year celebrations to guide you through proceedings and, for those of you with sore heads, let's hope Murray dispatches his lesser-ranked Belgian opponent in good time.

1215: Only 60 days have passed since the 2007 season ended for Andy Murray but already his 2008 campaign is upon us. And, like last year, the Scot kicks off in Doha. Of course, Murray reached the final of this $1m (450,000) tournament last time and a repeat would go down nicely as the 20-year-old builds up for the Aussie Open.



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