World No1 Sir Andy Murray makes victorious start to 2017 and extends winning run to 25 matches

 
Ross McLean
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Murray's winning run now stands at 25 competitive matches (Source: Getty)

Britain's Sir Andy Murray won his first clash of 2017 to extend his unbeaten run to 25 matches by breezing past world No69 Jeremy Chardy in the opening round of the Qatar Open in Doha.

World No1 Murray beat France’s Chardy 6-0, 7-6 (7-2), taking just 20 minutes to win the first set before his rival offered resistance and took the second set to a tie-break. Murray will face Austria’s Gerald Melzer in the round of 16.

“He didn’t start well,” said three-time tournament finalist Murray, whose last competitive defeat came against Marin Cilic in the Cincinnati Masters final in August.

“It’s always difficult, the first match of the year. Both of us were probably feeling a bit nervous. In the second set he played well. He was a lot more aggressive, fought to the end and pushed me hard.”

British No1 Johanna Konta, meanwhile, recovered from a set down to beat America’s Vania King and reach the quarter-finals of the Shenzhen Open in China yesterday.

Third seed Konta, who is ranked No10 in the world, won 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 and will face either Kristyna Pliskova of Czech Republic or Taiwan’s Kai-Chen Chang in the last eight. British No4 Aljaz Bedene progressed to the second round of the Chennai Open with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Spain’s Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.