Andy Murray wins Australian Open first-round match v Yuki Bhambri

By Piers NewberyBBC Sport at Melbourne Park
Australian Open: Andy Murray reflects on first round win
Australian Open 2015
Dates: 19 January-1 February Venue: Melbourne Coverage: Commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra, selected live text commentaries and daily reports on the BBC Sport website
  • Murray wins in straight sets on opening day
  • The Briton recovers from 4-1 down in the third set
  • No man has won singles' title after three final defeats
  • India's Bhambri played first Grand Slam match

Andy Murray made a solid start to his Australian Open campaign with a straight-sets win over India's Yuki Bhambri in Melbourne.

The Briton, seeded sixth, won 6-3 6-4 7-6 (7-3) in two hours 12 minutes on Margaret Court Arena.

Murray, 27, had to recover from 4-1 down in the third set but controlled the tie-break to seal victory.

He will play Australia's Marinko Matosevic in the second round on Wednesday.

Bhambri, 22, was the lowest-ranked player in the draw at 317 but managed to test Murray at times.

"I thought it was a good start," the Scot told BBC Sport. "I thought he played well; he was very aggressive and he was right up on the baseline the whole match.

"That made it difficult because it didn't give me much rhythm or a lot of time.

"But I thought I served very well the whole match - that was the most pleasing thing for me. Hopefully I'll get a little bit better and a bit quicker after my serve and after my returns."

BBC Sport tennis correspondent Russell Fuller:
"Murray has gone back to basics to try to improve the serve that undermined his game last year. Changes he introduced have been abandoned, and the way he served against Bhambri suggests the original model may indeed be the best. Murray was put on the back foot a little too easily by the former junior world number one early in the third set, but this was a solid performance in his first competitive match for two months."

It was the first Grand Slam match for Murray under his new team of coach Amelie Mauresmo and fitness trainer Matt Little, following the departure of Dani Vallverdu and Jez Green at the end of last season.

"It's been six or seven months now," added Murray. "I'm hoping we'll see some changes and some positive results."

Murray looked to be moving well after an off-season in which he focused on speed work; he served well in the early stages especially, and his returning was as effective as ever.

There were also glitches, however, a poor volley allowing Bhambri back into the first set with a break before Murray regained the initiative in the following game.

After a brilliant backhand pass set him up to break in the second, the Briton looked to have done the hard work, but Bhambri - a former junior world number one and Australian Open champion - stuck at his task.

Yuki Bhambri
India's Bhambri was playing his first Grand Slam match after failing to qualify on six previous occasions

Murray castigated himself after letting the Indian build a 4-1 lead in the third set, but he recovered the deficit with a cross-court backhand in game seven.

The crowd on Melbourne Park's newly revamped second show court was now enjoying an unexpected contest as Bhambri forced a tie-break, but Murray was not about to prolong his afternoon.

A second-serve ace gave the former Wimbledon champion a 5-2 lead and after one match point was saved, Bhambri could only float a return long on the second.

Murray finished with 13 aces and having won an impressive 79% of points on his sometimes vulnerable second serve.

"I didn't serve well last year," Murray added. "I tried to make some changes after coming back from surgery and it didn't help at all.

"I went back to serving how I used to and that's really helped me. I've felt a lot more comfortable."

Match stats
0Double faults3
641st serve %67
711st serve win %61
792nd serve win %47
4/6Break points2/5
Match time: 2hrs 12mins

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