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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."

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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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