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Murray through as Pavel retires

AUSTRALIAN OPEN
Venue: Melbourne Park Date: 19 January-1 February
Coverage: BBC Red Button, BBC One & Two (including all Andy Murray matches), Radio 5 Live sports extra, BBC Sport website (Red Button coverage streamed on website throughout fortnight)


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Murray pleased with Melbourne win

Andy Murray made unexpectedly swift progress into round two of the Australian Open as Romania's Andrei Pavel retired with a back injury.

The British number one was leading 6-2 3-1 on a sweltering Rod Laver Arena when Pavel called it quits.

Pavel, 34, was not expected to pose a serious threat with a ranking of 1,140 and after managing just 45 minutes he later quit tennis altogether.

Murray, 21, goes on to face Marcel Granollers of Spain.

And the Scot will again be favourite for victory against his fellow 21-year-old, with Granollers, ranked 51 in the world, in the second round of a Grand Slam for the first time.

The week before Wimbledon is the toughest week and once you actually get into the tournament it's fine

Andy Murray

The pair have met once before, Murray winning in three sets on the clay of Barcelona in 2006, and he will hope to repeat that feat - as long as he can master the conditions in Melbourne.

"It's a little bit windy," Murray told BBC Sport afterwards.

"The conditions are so fast from one end and a little bit slower from the other so I would have liked to have played a few more games but I'll go out and practise a bit more today.

"I think I've prepared very well. It just would have been nice to get the feeling of the court a little bit - with each match you play you're going to feel a bit more confident.

"But I've prepared as well as I can and I have to trust that."

606: DEBATE

With the temperature nudging 37C it was no surprise that the match began at a gentle pace, but Murray made the breakthrough in game five and never looked back.

Another break followed and Pavel called for the trainer to get treatment on his back after dropping the first set.

The Romanian returned to action and took the first game of the second set to love but that was to be the end of any real challenge.

He was broken again in game three and after slipping 3-1 behind approached the net and shook hands with Murray, before asking for assistance to carry his bag off court.

"I don't want to damage my health just to play another tournament," Pavel later said when confirming his retirement from the sport. "I've played in enough tournaments, I guess."

For Murray, it was the easiest possible start as he deals with the pressure of trying to become the first British male Grand Slam champion for 73 years.

"It's always the build-up - the week before Wimbledon is the toughest week - and once you actually get into the tournament it's fine," he said.

"When you're playing matches it keeps you occupied and you don't worry about the pressure so much.

"Now that the first match is out of the way I'm sure I'll be OK."



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Tennis on the BBC
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