Top Seed Murray Remains Perfect In Madrid Openers

Scot looking to kick-start his 2017 campaign this week

Two-time champion Andy Murray returned to the clay with ease on Tuesday, gaining a routine 6-4, 6-3 win against Romanian qualifier Marius Copil on the Manolo Santana Centre Court at the Mutua Madrid Open. The top-seeded Murray improved to 11-0 in his opening matches in the Spanish capital, dating back to his debut in 2006.

The Scot will meet #NextGenATP Croatian Borna Coric or French qualifier Pierre-Hugues Herbert.

“When I started to control the points more towards the end of the first set and second set, I was hitting the ball pretty clean, creating a few chances. I didn't give him any opportunities,” Murray said. “It was good for the first match.”

Murray is looking to kick-start his 2017 campaign in Madrid, as he did a year ago. Last year, he arrived in the Spanish metropolis with a 13-4 record and no titles. But Murray went on to reach the Madrid final (l. to Djojkovic) and finish the season on a 65-5 run and with an ATP World Tour-best nine titles.

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This season, Murray is now 16-5 and has one title to his name, his 45th tour-level crown at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in February. But the World No. 1 hasn't reached another final since his Dubai triumph (d. Verdasco).

Against Copil, Murray was as solid as ever. He broke in the 10th game to take the opening set when Copil netted a backhand slice. Murray earned his second break to lead 4-2 in the second set and served out the match to advance in 84 minutes.

“I still think there's a ways to go. I don't think I'm playing perfectly just now. I think there's just things I can definitely do better. But the most positive thing about tonight was that I feel like I can serve a little bit better than I did today,” said Murray, who faced no break points.

Murray also congratulated Copil, who, despite the loss, will celebrate a career milestone next week. The 26-year-old Tecnifibre player, currently No. 104 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, is expected to debut in the Top 100 on Monday when the new rankings are released.

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American Ryan Harrison earned his first win against Aussie Bernard Tomic 7-5, 4-6, 6-2 to set-up a second-round meeting against 16th seed Nick Kyrgios. Harrison had been 0-2 against Tomic in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series.

The 25-year-old Harrison, who reached the Estoril quarter-finals last week (l. to Ferrer), hit 15 aces and broke four times to move on in one hour and 50 minutes.

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