Andy Murray wins in Brisbane ahead of Australian Open
Andy Murray enjoyed the perfect preparation for the Australian Open with a comfortable victory over Ukraine's Alexandr Dolgopolov in the Brisbane International final.
In his final event before the year's first Grand Slam, Murray dominated from the off to beat the third seed 6-1 6-3.
He won nine straight games from 1-1 in the first set and, although Dolgopolov rallied, easily wrapped up the title.
"I'd like to say sorry to Alex; he had a problem with his leg," Murray said.
"It's my first week with this new team and it was good. Mr Lendl - he's up there somewhere, hiding," he added of new coach Ivan Lendl.
"I really enjoyed it. Hopefully it'll bring more success in the future."
The one slight concern for the world number four and his new coach will be a drop in concentration in the second set which allowed Dolgopolov to fight back from 4-0 to 4-3.
But the positives will far outweigh any negatives as they begin final preparations for the Australian Open, which begins in Melbourne on 16 January.
Murray, twice a finalist in the season's first major, including last year's straight sets defeat by Novak Djokovic, set the tone against Dolgopolov with a comfortable first service game that finished with an ace.
Although Dolgopolov levelled to get his first ATP Tour hardcourt final off to a positive start, that was at good as it got for the Ukrainian as Murray then reeled off nine consecutive games with a mixture of solid serving and attacking returns to move to within two games of the title.
Dolgopolov, who lost to Murray in the Australian Open quarter-finals in 2011, finally held serve for the first time in five attempts to avoid a second-set whitewash and then shocked Murray by claiming one of the breaks back with a fierce forehand on game point.
However, a solid hold by Murray in his next service game quickly quelled any thoughts of an unlikely turnaround and the 24-year-old then broke serve once more to win a 22nd career title.
Dolgopolov, hampered by a groin injury sustained in his semi-final win over second seed Gilles Simon, said: "I'd like to say sorry for some boring tennis from me today, but that's the best I could do."
Murray, the only British male guaranteed a place in the Australian Open main draw, will learn his first-round opponent when the draw is made on Friday 13 January.
And he said that Lendl's experience in winning a Grand Slam final at the fifth attempt could help him break his own run of losing in his first three appearances in major finals.
"He knows the feeling of playing a Grand Slam final, the nerves, he understands all that stuff," Murray told BBC Radio 5 live's Sportsweek.
"We've spoken about working hard and focussing on the process and not worrying about past results or things that have happened in the past.
"He's going to help with all sorts of things and hopefully come the Australian Open I'll be playing great tennis but we will have only been working together for 10 days. I'll have to spend a lot more time with him before we can make any changes to my game."
World number six Jo-Wilfried Tsonga overcame fellow Frenchman Gael Monfils 7-5 6-3 in the Qatar Open final to claim his eighth ATP Tour title.
World number 15 Monfils beat top seed Rafael Nadal in his semi-final while Tsonga received a bye when Roger Federer withdrew because of a back injury.
That advantage ultimately told in the final, although Tsonga started sluggishly before rallying from 5-3 down in the first set as he claimed nine of the next 11 games against a fading opponent.
Tsonga said: "I have reached the [Australian Open] final already in 2008 so maybe I can win there. I will leave this tournament with a lot of confidence."
And in Chennai, top seed Janko Tipsarevic of Serbia was beaten 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 by big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic - and tipped the world number 31 to break into the top 10 very soon.