• Australian Open

Murray makes magic start, Nadal benefits from Tomic injury

ESPN staff
January 14, 2014
Murray through to second round

Andy Murray cruised into the second round of the Australian Open after breezing past Go Soeda 6-1 6-1 6-3.

Playing in his first grand slam since undergoing back surgery last September, which ruled him out for the rest of the 2013 campaign, the reigning Wimbledon champion was hardly tested against the player ranked 112 in the world, as he bids to win the Australian Open for the first time in his career.

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Murray, who has been in the final in three of the last four years, lost the opening game, but then went on a run of nine consecutive games to take the opening set and open up a 3-0 lead in the second.

Soeda managed to stop the rot by making it 3-1, but Murray continued to outplay his opponent, and raced to the second set by the same scoreline to seal it with an ace.

Having dominated the match, Murray slightly took his foot off the gas in the third set, as Soeda began to get a grip on the encounter.

However, after the set went up on serve, Murray converted his fourth break point to move into a 4-3 lead, before holding serve and clinching victory when Soeda dumped his drop shot low into the net.

"I was taking nothing for granted," Murray said. "The back felt good and hopefully I'll wake up tomorrow with no after effects. But it was so hot and there were a lot of players struggling out there."

Rafael Nadal kicked off his quest for a second Australian Open crown after benefiting from a retirement from Bernard Tomic.

Nadal won the opening set 6-4, but Tomic picked up a groin injury in the very first game of the match, and went off court to receive treatment for the problem.

But despite the injury, Tomic was able to hold serve to stay in front. However, at 4-4, Nadal found the vital break, as he converted the only opportunity of the set to then serve and win the set, and quickly afterwards a handshake came from Tomic to signal the end of the contest.

"I'm very sad for Bernard. I hope he gets better very soon. I know how tough the situation is, so all the best to him," Nadal said on court after going through.

"Since the beginning of the match I saw he had problems, but during the first few games he was serving unbelievably and I couldn't win any points, so I waited for my moment."

And after missing the even last year due to seven months on the sidelines with a career-threatening knee injury, the world No. 1 added: "It's really emotional to be back. I am playing in one of the best stadiums and in one of the best countries in the world."

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