• ATP Tour

Murray works hard for win over Millman

ESPN staff
January 3, 2013
Andy Murray was made to battle by John Millman © Getty Images

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Andy Murray survived a real scare as he opened up the defence of his Brisbane International title with a 6-1 5-7 6-3 win over John Millman.

Murray's focus is trained on the Australian Open and he was handed his first test of 2013 against world No. 199 Millman. It did not look like being much of a test early on, as Murray raced through the opening set. Millman, though, steeled himself in the second set and put up a decent fight in front of his home crowd before falling in three tough sets.

Murray made a rapid start to the contest and three breaks of serve secured him the opening set at a canter.

Millman found his stride in the second set and he crafted a break of serve of his own in the seventh game. He threatened to break again in the ninth game, but passed up three set points.

Murray looked like he had made Millman pay for not taking the set points as he broke back in the 10th game, only to throw in a truly awful game as Millman broke to love for a 6-5 lead. And at the second time of asking, Millman held serve to force a deciding set.

Murray looked uncomfortable in the searing heat, he was seen stretching out his back and clutching his calf, but he weathered a storm at the start of the third set and broke through in the sixth game as Millman threw a backhand over the baseline to end a brutal point.

Millman forced Murray to serve out, but he did that without alarm to close out a match that lasted over two hours.

Murray will face Denis Istomin in the last-eight following his victory over home favourite Lleyton Hewitt.

At the Qatar Open in Doha, world No. 5 David Ferrer continued his progress towards the final with a 6-3 6-0 triumph over Paolo Lorenzi. Top seed Ferrer will play Nikolay Davydenko - a 6-1 6-1 winner over Simone Bolelli - in the semi-finals.

However, Gael Monfils is out after he was beaten 6-1 7-5 by Daniel Brands. The German will now meet Richard Gasquet for a place in the final.

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