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Murray overcomes Karlovic in Japan

Murray overcomes Karlovic in Japan
London Olympic gold medallist Andy Murray stood firm in his service game to beat Ivo Karlovic of Croatia in the first round at the Japan Open tennis tournament on Tuesday.

The 25-year-old defending champion came back to court after winning the US Open last month and didn’t face a single break point in his 7-6 [9/7], 6-4 victory.

‘A good thing was I found last night that I was going to play Karlovic, so I had the evening to think about the match a little bit and I was able to practise this morning,’ said Murray.

‘I was able to practise things I need to when I play against a big server and someone who comes into the net a lot. It’s always hard.

My opponent makes it a little bit tougher, but I stayed very well focused on my serve throughout the match,’ he added.

Sixth seed Milos Raonic of Canada coasted to a solid 6-4, 6-4 win over Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic, while eighth seed Kei Nishikori defeated fellow Japanese Davis Cup teammate Go Soeda 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.

In other first-round action, Jeremy Chardy of France outclassed Japan’s Yuichi Sugita 6-1, 7-5, Tommy Robredo of Spain whipped Jarkko Nieminen of Finland 6-2, 6-4, and Dmitry Tursunov of Russia downed Bernard Tomic of Australia 6-4, 7-5.

Marcos Baghdatis defeated Sergiy Stakhovsky 7-6 [7/3], 7-5, while Alejandro Falla of Colombia defeated Thomaz Bellucci of Brazil 7-5, 6-2.
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