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Murray Begins Title Defence With Win

Miami, U.S.A.

Murray© Getty ImagesAndy Murray began his quest to repeat as Miami champion with a three-set victory over Matthew Ebden.

Andy Murray's Sony Open Tennis title defence got off to a strong start on Friday after the No. 6 seed defeated Matthew Ebden 3-6, 6-0, 6-1 in 97 minutes.

Murray rallied past David Ferrer in a deciding tie-break in last year's Miami final, the second of his career (d. Djokovic in 2009) and ninth at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 level.

The Scot, who has amassed a 20-6 record in Crandon Park, won his first match without former coach Ivan Lendl in his camp. Lendl and Murray split earlier this week following a two-year partnership. Murray secured six breaks of serve on 16 opportunities, firing 28 winners.

The 26 year old is seeking to become the 11th player in history to win double-digit ATP World Tour Masters 1000 titles. He could join Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras as the only back-to-back Miami champions.

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Murray will look to extend his perfect FedEx ATP Head2Head record against Feliciano Lopez to 9-0 when they meet in the third round. The No. 32 seed ousted young gun Jiri Vesely 6-2, 7-6(3) in 92 minutes. Lopez's best result in 11 trips to Miami was a Round of 16 appearance in 2007.

In other action, 11th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga claimed his 200th tour-level win on hard courts, dispatching countryman Adrian Mannarino 6-2, 6-4 in just over an hour. Tsonga did not face a break point en route to becoming the 15th active player to reach the 200 hard court victory plateau.

A three-time quarter-finalist in Miami, Tsonga will be eyeing a return to the Top 10 in the Emirates ATP Rankings after dropping out for the first time since August 2011. The World No. 11 will square off with wild card Marcos Baghdatis in the third round.

Baghdatis needed two hours and 15 minutes to overcome a strong performance from No. 24 seed Philipp Kohlschreiber, 3-6, 7-6(1), 7-6(5). It was his fifth victory in seven FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings with Kohlschreiber.

On Wednesday, the Cypriot rallied from a 2-5 deficit in the third set against Santiago Giraldo, reeling off five straight games for the win.

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