AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2013
Murray Says 'Nerves Are Good' After Win; Mayer Saves 2 M.P.
by ATP Staff|
World No. 3 Andy Murray stated “nerves are a good thing” after taking the court for the first time at a Grand Slam event as a major champion on Tuesday. But the US Open titlist showed little signs of anxiety in his first-round match at the Australian Open, dispatching Robin Haase 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 on Rod Laver Arena.
“If you aren't nervous, it shows that you're really not that bothered,” said Murray. “When the nerves are there, sometimes it can be for 10, 15 minutes before you go on the court or the beginning of the match or the evening beforehand. They can affect you at different times. But it shows that you care, and that's the positive you take out of it. Often when you are nervous, you can play your best tennis.
“There are nerves in the buildup. You just got to try and focus and play solid, not make too many silly mistakes. I did a good job of that today. It's always nice to get through the first round of any tournament, but especially here.”
A two-time finalist at Melbourne Park, Murray dominated Haase with his return, winning 53 percent of his receiving points to defeat the Dutchman in one hour and 37 minutes. Murray improved to 2-1 against Haase in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series. The 25-year-old Scot began his 2013 season by successfully retaining the Brisbane International crown (d. Dimitrov). He next faces Joao Sousa, who defeated wild card John-Patrick Smith 6-4, 6-1, 6-4.
Top-ranked Canadian Milos Raonic overcame a slow start to beat Jan Hajek 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, 7-6(0). The 13th-seeded Raonic fired 30 aces in the two-hour-and-35-minute victory to register his first win of the year. On his tournament debut in 2011, Raonic reached the fourth round after coming through the qualifying rounds.
“I don't think [it was] my finest two and a half hours,” reflected Raonic. “I wasn't putting anything on the ball the whole match. I was playing a little bit tight. I sort of wasn't hitting freely. I was just letting him get in the points and get in the match.”
Andreas Seppi defeated Horacio Zeballos 6-2, 6-4, 6-2 in 89 minutes. The 21st-seeded Italian did not lose serve, winning 86 percent of his first serve points. Seppi will look to advance past the second round for the first time in his eighth appearance when he plays Denis Istomin. The Uzbek rallied past Igor Sijsling 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2.
Florian Mayer, the 25th seed, came back from two sets down in his opener, saving two match points to prevail 2-6, 3-6, 6-2, 7-6(12), 6-1 over wild card Rhyne Williams. Mayer saved both match points in the fourth set tie-break before breaking Williams three times in the decisive set to complete the comeback win.
Blaz Kavcic caused the first upset of the day, knocking out No. 29 seed Thomaz Bellucci 6-3, 6-1, 6-3. The Slovenian broke Bellucci six times to win his third straight opening-round match at the event.
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