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Page last updated at 06:15 GMT, Tuesday, 5 October 2010 07:15 UK

Britain's Andy Murray eases past Mathieu at China Open

Andy Murray and Paul-Henri Mathieu
Murray is looking to rebound from last month's US Open exit

Andy Murray defeated French qualifier Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-2 6-3 in the first round of the China Open in Beijing.

The 23-year-old Scot, seeded second, broke four times as he wrapped up victory in one hour, 14 minutes.

"I thought I did well," said Murray. "I started well and didn't give him any chances except for a couple of break points on my serve in the second set."

Murray faces Spain's Albert Montanes in the second round after his opponent Andrey Golubev retired at 6-2 3-0 down.

"It was a good first round," said Murray. "I felt like I was pretty out of breath when there were some long rallies because I've been quite ill the last week.

"I started feeling better today, but I haven't practised that much on the court."


Murray, competing for the first time since last month's disappointing US Open exit, only faced two break in the whole match, saving them both.

Serbian top-seed Novak Djokovic made a successful return to action following his runner-up finish at the US Open, kicking off the defence of his title with a 6-1 6-3 win over home favourite Gong Maoxin.

"It feels good to be back at a court where I've had a lot success in the last couple years," said Djokovic. "Why not a final with Andy Murray? We've not played each other for a long time."

Sweden's Robin Soderling, a French Open finalist, dropped the first set of his opening match before eventually seeing off Tommy Robredo of Spain 4-6 6-1 6-4.

Other seeds to progress were Nikolay Davydenko (four), who beat Florian Mayer 6-3 6-4 and David Ferrer (eight), who overcame Denis Istomin 6-4 6-1.

In other first round matches, Ukraine's Alexandr Dolgopolov beat Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus 6-4 6-4 and Spain's Nicolas Almagro defeated Poland's Lukasz Kubot 7-5 6-2.

In the women's singles second round, former world number one Maria Sharapova continued her poor run with a 7-6 6-2 defeat by unseeded Russian compatriot Elena Vesnina.

"It's not been a good end of the season for me," said Sharapova, who has slipped to 21st in the rankings. "I have not had good preparations and will have to find a way to improve next season."

The other Russian seeds in the women's tournament enjoyed better fortune as second seed Vera Zvonareva thrashed Germany's Andrea Petkovic 6-4 6-1, while number seven Elena Dementieva had to hold off the challenge of 40-year-old Kimiko Date Krumm 6-3 1-6 6-3.

Eighth seed Victoria Azarenka made an early exit after she retired due to a thigh injury when leading Timea Bacsinszky 6-4 2-3, while Ana Ivanovic swept past Olga Govortsova 6-0 7-5.

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see also
Murray to name coach by new year
02 Oct 10 |  Tennis
I need to get stronger - Murray
21 Sep 10 |  Tennis
Murray makes shock US Open exit
05 Sep 10 |  Tennis

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