Andy Murray fights back to beat Jerzy Janowicz at China Open
Last updated on .From the section Tennis
Andy Murray followed up his first title for 15 months with a hard-fought win over Poland's Jerzy Janowicz in the first round of the China Open.
The British number one came through 6-7 (9-11) 6-4 6-2 and will face Uruguay's Pablo Cuevas in round two.
Murray, 27, was back on court just 48 hours after 900 miles away in Shenzhen.
The Scot began the week 10th in the race for the eight places at November's season-ending ATP Finals in London.
With a number of rivals likely to improve their standing in Beijing this week, it was vital that Murray built on the winning run he began in Shenzhen.
|ATP Race To London (top eight qualify)|
|Qualified: 1st: Novak Djokovic (8,150 points); 2nd: Roger Federer (7,020); 3rd: Rafael Nadal (6,645)|
|Still to qualify: 4th: Stan Wawrinka (4,795), 5th: Marin Cilic (3,935), 6th: Kei Nishikori (3,845), 7th: David Ferrer (3,535), 8th: Tomas Berdych (3,510), 9th: Milos Raonic (3,440), 10th: Andy Murray (3,405)|
|Murray's schedule: Beijing - 500 points to the winner; Shanghai - 1,000; Paris - 1,000.|
"The conditions here are opposite to what I've played in Shenzhen," said Murray.
"Today when we finished the match it was 11 degrees. When we were playing in Shenzhen, it was 33, 34 degrees, and incredibly humid. It was very, very different and a quick turnaround to get used to that.
"I'm just going to play each match, try and fight through them if I can.
"I don't feel like I played a particularly good match today. I fought very hard and tried my best and managed to get the win. That's what I'll try and do this week."
Janowicz, ranked 36th, took advantage of some slack Murray serving early on to break three times on his way to a 5-1 lead, but the Pole has been inconsistent this year and looked increasingly fragile as his opponent found some rhythm.
Murray appeared in control at 4-1 in the tie-break but was pegged back in an edgy contest, and failed to convert two set points - the second of which offered the Scot an inviting chance at a backhand pass.
When Janowicz, 23, grabbed his third opportunity to seal the set with a crunching forehand winner, a frustrated Murray smashed his racquet into the court.
After six breaks of serve in the opening set, the second was a tighter affair, but having saved an early break point Murray got the decisive breakthrough at 4-4, thanks in large part to a poor smash and ill-judged decision to serve-volley from Janowicz.
If Murray had cut a frustrated figure for much of the first two hours, it was Janowicz who boiled over heading into the third as two double faults saw him drop serve at 1-1 - the Pole responding by hurling his racquet across the court.
Murray was now crowding the baseline, his footwork looking sharper, and a searing backhand winner earned the double-break at 5-2 as he went on to close out the match in two hours and 28 minutes.