• Hopman Cup

Murray makes it winning start for Britain

ESPN staff
January 5, 2015
Andy Murray shrugged off pain in his left shoulder to defeat Benoit Paire in Perth © Getty Images
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Andy Murray shrugged off his recent shoulder problem to lead Great Britain to a 2-1 win against holders France on the second day of the Hopman Cup in Perth.

Watson leads the charge

Heather Watson defeated Alize Cornet at the Hopman Cup © Getty Images
  • Heather Watson will lead Great Britain's Fed Cup team at next month's Europe/Africa Zone Group One tournament in Budapest.
  • Watson, Johanna Konta and doubles team Jocelyn Rae and Anna Smith make up the line-up named by Judy Murray for the round-robin event, which takes place from February 4-7.
  • Britain are still without Laura Robson, who will not make her return to action until next month after a year out with left-wrist problems.
  • Murray's side will play three group matches, with the winners going forward to a play-off and the winners of that playing off in April for a place in World Group Two.

Murray felt pain in his left shoulder during his semi-final victory over Rafael Nadal at last week's World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi, but was spared from testing the joint further when illness forced Novak Djokovic out of Saturday's final.

Any soreness did not prevent Murray from giving Britain the perfect start as he defeated Benoit Paire 6-2 7-5 in the opening tie of the match at the Perth Arena, and he later teamed up with Heather Watson to win the decisive mixed doubles tie.

"It's a bit sore, if it was my right shoulder it would probably be quite hard for me to play," Murray said after his singles victory. "I don't feel it on my ground strokes so much, I feel it when I'm serving. I had an ultrasound scan in Abu Dhabi and it was absolutely clear but it's still quite sore.

"Hopefully it will calm down. Maybe it's playing matches again after a little break, maybe I've just got it in the wrong position and tweaked something a little bit, but I should be fine."

Alize Cornet, last year's female champion, drew France level when she dispatched Watson 6-2 6-2 in the women's singles tie.

The players took to the court after a 40-minute break to play the deciding mixed doubles rubber and, after Britain won the first set before France levelled by taking the second, the match was decided by a tie-break with Murray and Watson prevailing to earn a 6-4 2-6 10-8 victory.

Britain play Poland on Wednesday and Australia on Friday, with the group winners reaching Saturday's final. The tournament guarantees each player three singles ties in the build-up to the Australian Open, which gets underway in Melbourne on January 19.

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