Murray Defeats Dolgopolov to Win Season Opener in Brisbane

by John on January 8, 2012

Andy Murray started off the year with a bang. The No. 4-ranked Scot defeated Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-1, 6-3 in the final of the Brisbane International earlier today, capturing his 22nd career title while under the watchful eye of his new coach, former world No. 1 Ivan Lendl. “I’d like to thank my team…Mr. Lendl, he’s up there somewhere, hiding,” Murray said. “It’s my first week with this new team and it was good. I really enjoyed it. Hopefully it’ll bring more success in the future.” Next up for the 24-year-old Murray is the Australian Open, which starts a week from tomorrow. The Dunblane native has lost the last two finals in Melbourne and is 0-3 overall in major finals. That statistic and the fervent expectations of his countrymen to become the first Brit to win a Grand Slam since 1936 continue to weigh heavily upon Murray’s shoulders. The top-seeded Murray blitzed through the first set in 26 minutes, breaking twice and not losing a point on his serve until the last game, when Dolgopolov twice had breakpoint chances but was unable to convert. Murray continued to roll, winning his ninth game in a row to jump out to a 4-0 lead in the second set. The third-seeded Dolgopolov won the next three games, including his only break of the match, to narrow the gap. Murray halted the surge by holding and then breaking the Ukrainian for the fifth time in the match to win in 67 minutes. “I served pretty well again,” Murray said. “It got close in the second set and I stayed focused. He was just going for his shots [and] hit quite a few winners but I didn’t let it get to me. It’s good because I could easily have lost second round against [Gilles] Muller but I managed to fight my way through and played three very good matches. I felt like I was moving well right at the end of the week.” Dolgopolov, who moved up to a No. 15 ranking at the end of 2011, dropped to 0-3 against Murray. The 23-year-old Ukrainian suffered a strained groin in his semifinal win over No. 2 seed Gilles Simon and wasn’t at his best against the Scotsman. “I’d like to say sorry for some boring tennis from me today,” Dolgopolov said, “but that’s the best I could do.”

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