Andy Murray into Australian Open second round
- Venue: Melbourne Park
- Date: 14-27 January
Coverage: BBC Sport website (daily live text commentaries), Radio 5 live (commentaries) & TV/online streaming (both finals)
Andy Murray began his Australian Open campaign with a swift straight-sets win over Robin Haase in Melbourne.
The British number one eased to a 6-3 6-1 6-3 victory in just one hour and 37 minutes.
Haase took Murray to five sets at the 2011 US Open, but any thoughts the Dutchman might extend him similarly this time were quickly blown away.
Two early breaks of serve set the tone and the world number three was rarely troubled on his way to setting up a second-round tie with Joao Sousa of Portugal.
Joao Sousa on Andy Murray
"Murray is one of the best players in the world. He's won a lot of big tournaments and is a very strong player. And weaknesses? I don't know if he has it, but I'll try to find it. He looks to be in very good shape and probably had a very good pre-season and feels confident about this match."
Murray, the US Open champion, is trying to become the first man to follow up his maiden Grand Slam title with another major win.
Asked if he felt different walking onto court as a Grand Slam champion, Murray said: "Not really, it didn't feel much different to me. I was still nervous before I went on to the play the match.
"I think when I would see the benefits of it is if I get myself deep into a Slam this year and you're playing against the top players. That's when I think you'll draw on that experience and use it in the right way."
Scheduled first on Rod Laver Arena for his opening match, the Scot took full advantage by getting the job done before a predicted hot afternoon in Melbourne.
Murray, 25, began to turn the screw as early as the third game, winning the kind of long and punishing rally that is the foundation of his game, before drawing a wild volley from Haase to break.
Murray's Melbourne record
- 2012: Semi-final
- 2011: Runner-up
- 2010: Runner-up
- 2009: Fourth round
- 2008: First round
- 2007: Fourth round
- 2006: First round
The advantage extended to 4-1 soon after, and when Murray then saw off five break points with some big serving, the set was as good as his.
A wayward drop shot gifted back one of the breaks, and possibly gave watching coach Ivan Lendl something to discuss in the post-match debrief, but otherwise it was plain sailing.
Murray rolled through the second set in 26 minutes, working his man relentlessly from side to side, and broke to love at the start of the third with a backhand winner down the line.
One final lapse allowed Haase a second service break of the match but it hardly detained Murray, who broke for the eighth time to secure the win.
"I started the year well in Brisbane but obviously coming into the Slams, the first match is normally pretty tough," added the Scot.
"There are nerves in the build-up. You've 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 a tournament, but especially here."
Murray is the only British man left in the draw after world number 246 Jamie Baker lost 7-6 (7-5) 7-5 6-2 to Lukas Rosol, the Czech who beat Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon last year.
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Comment number 77.pottiella
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