• Valencia Open

Murray sees of Melzer as Berdych crumbles

ESPN staff
October 22, 2014
Andy Murray could move as high as fifth in the rankings with victory at the Valencia Open © Getty Images

Andy Murray is through to the second round of the Valencia Open after a shaky 6-3 6-3 win over Jurgen Melzer.

Murray, playing his fifth tournament in as many weeks in a bid to qualify for the ATP World Tour Finals, took one hour and 20 minutes to see off the challenge of the Austrian world No.121 in an error-strewn display from both men.

Murray claimed the different playing conditions between Vienna and Valencia, as well his preparation for the this tournament being interrupted by last week's victory in the Austrian capital, were the causes of a below-par display.

"[There were] different conditions here to last week," he said. "Even when you're ahead it was always tricky. He's a very aggressive returner and made it difficult for me but I managed to come through.

"It's been a good start. Hopefully tomorrow will feel better but for a first match in new conditions after only one day to adjust, it was pretty good. I'll need to keep playing better as the tournament goes on if I want to win."

While the world No.10 knows he must improve to protect his place among the top eight in the year-long Race to London standings, his cause was helped by Tomas Berdych's shock first-round defeat by Pablo Andujar.

The Czech second seed, one place above fellow wildcard Murray in the Race standings, crashed out 6-3 6-2 to the Spaniard, leaving Murray with a gilt-edged chance to overhaul his 220-point lead in the standings with 500 on offer for the winner.

If Murray can follow victory at last week's Vienna Open with his third title of the season in Valencia, he could rise as high as fifth in the Race to London, all but sealing his spot at the season finale.

Up next for Murray is a second-round showdown with Fabio Fognini, who beat the Briton during their Davis Cup showdown earlier this year.

It was a good day for the Spaniards in Valencia, with top seed David Ferrer booking his place in the second round with a 6-3 7-5 victory over Italy's Andreas Seppi, while Roberto Bautista Agut edged out Santiago Giraldo 6-4 6-4.

Pablo Carreno Busta, who entered on a wildcard and is 10 years younger than fourth-seeded Feliciano Lopez, took just 65 minutes to defeat his 33-year-old Spanish compatriot 6-4, 6-4.

In a late match, Spain's Tommy Robredo beat Yen-Hsun Lu of Taiwan 6-2, 6-4.

But defending champion Mikhail Youzhny was upset earlier in the day, going out 7-5 6-3 to Brazilian qualifier Thomaz Bellucci.

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