Andy Murray eased past Norwegian qualifier Viktor Durasovic 6-3, 6-1 to reach the second round at the Sydney Tennis Classic, thereby earning his first win in Australia in three years on Tuesday. This comes after the former World No.1 lost to Facundo Bagnis in his first match of the season last week in Melbourne. However, Murray, whose last victory in Australia came against James Duckworth in Brisbane in January 2019, bounced back from that defeat in some style, producing a dominant performance against Durasovic. He progressed through after 72 minutes to improve to 2-0 in their ATP Head2Head series.
“It is perfect conditions here,” Murray said in his on-court interview. “It feels like you are playing indoors. It is really nice to get your range here and hopefully I can carry that through to Melbourne. I was hoping to get matches in Melbourne last week, but that didn’t happen. Thankfully the tournament organisers and Tennis Australia agreed to give me the wild card and the opportunity to play here and I am very grateful for that.”
At the ATP 250 event, Murray will next take on second-seeded Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili. “It is my first time in Sydney and it is a beautiful city,” Murray added. “I have been on the Tour for a very long time and it is nice to come to new places and I had heard a lot about it and it hasn’t disappointed,” he explained.
In Metz and Stockholm last season, the wild card reached tour-level quarter-finals. He also earned Top 10 wins over Hubert Hurkacz and Jannik Sinner on his way to getting back to his earlier top form.
Paula Badosa and Anett Kontaveit led the charge into the second round of the Sydney Tennis Classic on Monday, scoring their first wins of the 2022 season. After a first-round exit last week in Adelaide at the hands of former World No.1 Victoria Azarenka, No.5 seed Badosa survived a difficult first set before easing past former major-winner in Jelena Ostapenko 7-6, 6-1.
On the other hand, Anett Kontaveit started on a positive note as well. She had ended her 2021 season by winning 29 of her last 34 matches. The World No.7 picked up where she left off in her 2022 debut. In Sydney, Kontaveit defeated Zhang Shuai 6-3, 6-3 in just 89 minutes.
Meanwhile, Petra Kvitova came from a set down to avoid being beaten in the first round. Notably, Kvitova had survived two match points in the final set to overcome Arantxa Rus, 3-6, 7-6, 7-5.