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Andy Murray ends six-match losing streak in Qatar opener

Andy Murray ends six-match losing streak in Qatar opener
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Former world number one Andy Murray picks up his first win of 2024 with a straight-sets success over Alexandre Muller in the first round of the Qatar Open.

Andy Murray clinched his first ATP Tour triumph of 2024 and ended a six-match losing streak with a 6-1 7-6[5] victory over Alexandre Muller in the first round of the Qatar Open.

The former world number one had not prevailed in a top-level encounter since beating Yannick Hanfmann at the Swiss Indoors in October, but he exploded out of the blocks on Tuesday to snap that barren run without a victory.

Murray broke Muller in the Frenchman's first service game before repeating the trick in the sixth, although he had to beat away one break-back point for the 27-year-old while serving for the set.

However, as Muller began to win more points behind his first serve in the second set, the world number 75 began to pile the pressure on Murray, who recovered from 40-15 down in his second service game.

The Briton found himself a set and a break up at 4-3, but Muller responded immediately to take the second set to a tie-breaker, where he let 4-2 and 5-3 advantages slip as Murray powered his way into round two.

"Obviously the past few months have been really tough on the court for me. I've not won many matches and lost a lot of close ones as well and it was getting tight at the end there as well, so obviously delighted to get through," Murray said on the court.

"Just proud that I managed to get through the match, get another win under my belt, and I'm happy for my team who have been working extremely hard with me in trying to find solutions to get me through this difficult moment. Hopefully this is the start of a better run."

Murray's second-round opponent will be Czech 18-year-old Jakub Mensik, who shocked fifth seed Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in the first round with a 7-6[3] 6-4 success for a first-ever win against a top-30 opponent.

Prior to Murray's success, Cameron Norrie and Dan Evans claimed wins in the Rio Open and Los Cabos Open respectively, but Jack Draper was knocked out of the latter event by Thanasi Kokkinakis.

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Britain's Cameron Norrie celebrates after winning his third round match against Norway's Casper Ruud on January 20, 2024
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