January 8, 2016 7:13:25 pm
Briton Andy Murray showed no signs of the thigh injury that had previously troubled him as he dispatched German teenager Alexander Zverev in the punishing Perth heat at the Hopman Cup on Friday.
The world number two had spoken of soreness in his right thigh during Wednesday’s loss to Australian Nick Kyrgios at the mixed team event but his movement was sharp as he picked apart Zverev 6-3 6-4 to keep alive Britain’s hopes of making the final.
Murray, four-times an Australian Open runner-up, wore down his 83rd-ranked opponent by keeping him on the move and targeted the German’s inconsistent forehand as he secured an early break in each set.
Zverev, though, refused to balk and continued to try to push Murray.
The young German pulled back a break in the eighth game of the second set after an error-strewn game by the Scot but Murray recovered to seal the victory on his next service game after a big serve down the middle.
Ever the perfectionist, Murray said he had more work to do before the Australian Open gets underway on Jan. 18 in Melbourne.
“I started missing a few balls and dropping a few short and he was able to dictate some of the points at the end so (that is) something I need to do a bit better,” the 28-year-old said in a courtside interview.
“I feel fine, it’s great to get matches in, nice to play during the day to get used to the hot weather. Hopefully it’s not that bad in Melbourne.”
Murray later teamed up with Heather Watson, a 6-3 6-4 winner against Sabine Lisicki earlier in the day, to clinch the mixed doubles by the same score as Britain completed a 3-0 rout of Germany.
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