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Page last updated at 14:29 GMT, Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Montanes v Murray as it happened

Qatar Open:

First round result:

A Murray (GB) bt A Montanes (Sp)

6-2 6-4

LATEST ACTION (all times GMT)
606: DEBATE
To get involved use 606 or text us your views & comments on 81111. (Not all contributions can be used)

By Paul Fletcher

1435: Murray signs a few tennis balls and programmes as he makes his way off court. He has a big coat on, which tells you all you need to know about the temperature in Qatar. Bound to be warmer than Britain though...

1433: "Well, a straight sets win over a top 50 player, without ever being under real pressure and apparently without playing very well. Typical Murray early rounds match - do enough to win reasonably easily, but without using too much of your mental or physical resources.

"Onwards to more challenging matches ahead..."
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1431: "Easy enough. Decent performance, not great though."
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1430: "Looked pretty easy for Murray out there. The 4kg of muscle he has put on during the winter break can only be beneficial. We all know he's got the game to win Grand Slams, my only concern is does he have the temperament. Hope so, here's to a great Year!"
Dave, Bmth, via text on 81111

SECOND SET

Montanes 4-6 Murray
Murray serves out for the match, winning the game to love. In truth, it was a comfortable victory for the Scot, who will play Philipp Petzschner in the next round. Murray was not at his best and Montanes rallied briefly late on but the result was never in doubt.

Montanes 4-5 Murray
Montanes smashes his third ace as he holds his serve. Murray has mustered just one point in Montanes's last three service games.

Montanes 3-5 Murray
Murray abruptly halts the Montanes revival with a comprehensive service game, winning to love. The Scot is one game away from victory.

Montanes 3-4 Murray
Just who is winning here? Montanes wins another service game to love, sealing it with a great winner down the line. Murray is just a little out of sorts at the moment.

Montanes 2-4 Murray
Montanes races into a 30-0 lead but Murray responds with a forehand winner down the line. Montanes hits a winner from the Murray serve for two break points and the Scot double faults. A break for the Spaniard.

Montanes 1-4 Murray
Montanes shows some fight to win his service game to love. It stops the rot for the Spaniard but comes far too late.

Montanes 0-4 Murray
Montanes looks like a beaten man at times, but then plays the occasional sensational winner. Murray is far from spectacular but his greater consistency sees him move closer to victory.

Montanes 0-3 Murray
Two amazing crosscourt winners puts Murray in control of the game. He is helped when Montanes horribly misses when returning a Murray lob. Murray requires three break points but eventually closes out the game thanks to another unforced error from Montanes.

Montanes 0-2 Murray
A comfortable hold for Murray, who seems to have found some range with his first serves.

Montanes 0-1 Murray
Murray seems to be increasingly frustrated by some of his unforced errors. Very much chuntering time from the Scot. It is a lengthy game and both players have the chance to win. Murray again shows flashes of brilliance and an amazing drop shot sets up a break point and Montanes is long with a backhand on the following point.


FIRST SET

Montanes 2-6 Murray
Sloppy from Murray, who eventually holds his serve but served poorly at times and was almost punished by Montanes, who had four break points in the game. Murray's second serve looks particularly vulnerable.

Montanes 2-5 Murray
Murray races to three set points but then hits a sloppy backhand on Montanes second serve. The Scot chunters to himself. Murray tries to win the set with a drop shot but it is wide and Montanes takes the game to deuce and then goes on to hold his serve.

Montanes 1-5 Murray
Murray hits his second ace of the match for 30-15 but, at 40-30, double faults for the first time. It is quite windy at court level. The game goes to deuce and Murray completely dominates the key rally of the game, sending his opponent one way then then other. A superb slice wins the game.

Montanes 1-4 Murray
Looking very comfortable now for Murray, who races into a 40-0 lead. Montanes hits two good winners but he then clips the net with a forehand and Murray breaks again. He has won the last four games.

Montanes 1-3 Murray
Murray plays an excellent drop shot and follows with a lob as he starts to find his range. Montanes responds with an awesome cross-court winner but he is too inconsistent and unforced errors undermine his good work. Murray comfortably holds.

Montanes 1-2 Murray
Murray wins the first two points but Montanes take the game to 30-30 before double faulting. Montanes dominates the following rally, winning the point with a booming forehand. However, he loses the next point and then double faults again to hand Murray the break.

Montanes 1-1 Murray
Murray opens his first service game in impressive form - racing into a 40-0 lead. Montanes takes the next two points but Murray then shows patience and composure to win a lengthy rally and take the game.

Montanes 1-0 Murray
Murray takes the first game to deuce - and Montanes promptly double faults to had the Scot an immediate break point. Montanes rescues the situation with a single-handed backhand. Montanes survives another break point, wins one of his own but is undone by a powerful cross-court forehand. However, Montanes eventually takes a lengthy opening game.

1314: "Can't see Murray being pushed until the semi-finals. Quite surprised Djokovic lost in the first round of Brisbane earlier though."
Steve, Grimsby, via text on 81111

1313: Montanes to serve. The real stuff begins.

1310: The players have almost finished warming up and the match will finally begin, several minutes behind the scheduled 1300 GMT. It is the first meeting between the two players.

1309: "Murray to win in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2."
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1307: This tournament, of course, is important as it is Murray's last competitive action before the Australian Open.

Murray won in Qatar last year then crashed out of the year's first Grand Slam in the first round.

1306: The winner of this match will meet Germany's Philipp Petzschner in the next round.

1302: The players are about to make their way out on to the court in Qatar. It is just after 4pm in Qatar and I wouldn't say the stands were full. Not by any means.

1258: Albert Montanes, incidentally, is currently enjoying a career high ranking of 43. His one ATP title was at Amersfoot, Holland, in 2008 and was on clay.

1254 GMT: Andy Murray begins his defence of Qatar Open buoyed by his recent victories over both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.

Murray takes on Spain's Albert Montanes, ranked 43 in the world, in Tuesday's first-round match.

Do you see any problems for Murray against Montanes and how big a year do you think 2009 will be for the Scot?
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see also
Murray v Federer as it happened
02 Jan 09 |  Tennis
Tennis stars kick off 2009
04 Jan 09 |  Tennis
Murray signs with Beckham agent
30 Dec 08 |  Tennis
Murray's magical year
16 Nov 08 |  Tennis


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