March 1, 2017 11:19:32 am
Andy Murray may be coming off a bout of shingles, but he looked in good shape during a 6-4, 6-1 first round victory over Malik Jaziri at the Dubai Tennis Championships on Tuesday.
The top-ranked Murray was playing his first match since being upset by Mischa Zverev in the Australian Open fourth round last month.
Murray said that his mother-in-law was the first to suggest he had shingles, which a doctor confirmed the next day.
“I had a little bit of a rash basically like on my bum `round to kind of my stomach, and it wasn’t, like, terrible,” Murray said. “I didn’t think much of it at the beginning, and then it was actually my wife’s mum, we were having dinner, and I was, like, `This is really irritating. She was, like, `Pull your pants down. Show me. It might be shingles.”
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Jaziri took a brief 2-1 lead with a service break in the first set, but that would be the only time the Tunisian had any control over Tuesday’s match.
“Obviously, the second set was obviously a bit easier,” Murray said. “First set, especially the beginning, was tough.
“I have never hit with him or played against him before. It took a little bit of time to get used to his game.”
The only other unexpected moment in the match came when Murray was leading 6-4, 3-1, 0-40. Jaziri said he was feeling light-headed and asked for the physiotherapist to come to the court. After his pulse was checked, Jaziri returned to the court and played out the match.
Unlike Murray, defending champion Stan Wawrinka didn’t survive the first round, falling to Damir Dzhumur 7-6 (4), 6-3.
It was third-ranked Wawrinka’s first match since bowing out of the Australian Open to Swiss countryman Roger Federer in the semifinals.
“I think I start well, but it was tough match,” Wawrinka said. “I think after coming back one month out, I had to recover from the injury.
Wawrinka was nursing a right knee injury when he left the Australian Open and only started to have regular practice sessions a week ago.
“The positive of the tournament here is that the knee is feeling good now,” Wawrinka said. “I don’t have any pain. I need to still be really careful, but that was the only positive of today.”
Wawrinka started the match very quickly, racing to a 4-1 lead in the first set.
“Three games in, like, six, seven minutes, he was playing outstanding there,” Dzhumur said. “Was just hitting every ball. I couldn’t even touch the ball.”
That was the point when Wawrinka slowed down and showed signs of becoming tentative as the Bosnian settled into the match.
“I was hoping that he’s gonna go down with his level of game, and that’s what happened,” Dzhumur said. “I started to fight, to grind, and I found some way to play, to stay in the game.”
Dzhumur raced into a 5-1 lead in the second set, but became nervous when serving for the match at that point.
In the 10-point seventh game, Dzhumur served three double faults, including to lose the third break point he faced.
He kept his composure when serving for the match two games later, setting up the match point with a forehand crosscourt volley, and then watching Wawrinka sail a forehand long.
Fifth-seeded Tomas Berdych advanced to the second round when fellow Czech qualifier Lukas Rosol retired with a knee injury. Berdych was leading 6-3, 2-1 at the time.
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