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Page last updated at 23:36 GMT, Friday, 13 March 2009

Murray returns with doubles win

Indian Wells Masters 1000
Date: 12-22 March Coverage: Live on Sky Sports (from 14 March), updates on BBC Radio 5 Live with text commentary on BBC Sport website

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Interview - Andy Murray

Andy Murray made his return to competitive action on Friday following two weeks out with a virus, claiming a victory in the doubles at Indian Wells.

The British number one and compatriot Ross Hutchins beat Tomas Berdych and Nicolas Kiefer 6-4 0-6 10-7.

Murray will play Albert Montanes in the singles at 1900 GMT on Saturday.

"I felt like I was hitting the ball pretty well, returned good and didn't feel like I'd lost that much sharpness," said the Scot.

"I'll just have to see how I'm going to feel in the longer rallies in singles."

John's the captain, he obviously made his decision and it was tough to argue against it

Murray on John LLoyd dropping his brother Jamie in the Davis Cup

Murray fell ill at the Dubai Open two weeks ago and then pulled out of Great Britain's Davis Cup tie against Ukraine, saying the virus had hit him harder than any illness during his career.

There were fears that the Briton was suffering from glandular fever, something that has hit both Roger Federer and Mario Ancic in recent years.

"I actually spoke to Mario on the phone a couple of times, and by text message," Murray told the BBC.

"I had some blood tests done and the first results that came back said it could be glandular fever, so I had some more done and thankfully that came back and it was negative.

"I was obviously very chuffed about that because it's a very debilitating virus. Both those guys have struggled with it the last couple of years so I was really happy it wasn't that."

In Murray's absence, Britain slumped to a 4-1 defeat by Ukraine in Glasgow but the Scot has backed captain John Lloyd's decisions to instigate a play-off to choose his squad, and to drop his brother Jamie from the doubles.

"I think the play-offs was a great idea," said Murray. "The guys that played had very little experience and had never played a match that went to five sets before.

"In the play-offs one of the matches went to 21-19 in the fifth set and lasted over six hours, so showed the guys were in shape to play five sets which John didn't necessarily know before that.

"For Jamie, he hasn't had a good year so far and didn't play particularly well at the end of last year.

"Obviously Jamie's got a bit more experience than Ross in big matches but John's the captain, he obviously made his decision and it was tough to argue against it because of the form of the two players."

Fourth seed Murray reached the last four in Indian Wells in 2007 and the last 16 a year ago, when world number three Novak Djokovic took the title.

"I'd obviously love to move up the rankings," said Murray. "Novak won here last year so has a lot of points to defend.

606: DEBATE

"I played well here in 2007 and if I can match that result and maybe go a bit better, maybe I can jump him, but I don't want to focus too much on what Novak's doing, just focus on my own game."

Murray has met Spanish world number 35 Montanes only once, beating him in straight sets on his way to the Qatar title in January.

Russian fifth seed Nikolay Davydenko withdrew on Friday because of a left heel injury.

Looking past Indian Wells and the following event in Miami, Murray confirmed that he will use former French Open finalist Alex Corretja to help him in the clay-court season for the second year in a row.

"I plan on working with Alex again," he said. "I felt good on the clay last year, I lost to some good players but won some matches I might not necessarily have done in the years before.

"I need to make sure I get enough practice in - I'll probably only play three tournaments before the French Open and spend a lot of time on the practice court to get used to the clay again because I haven't played on it since the French last year."

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see also
Indian Wells photos
13 Mar 09 |  Tennis
Federer to become a father
12 Mar 09 |  Tennis


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