Murray and Robson keep up winning form as Australian Open looms large

BRITISH No1 Andy Murray signed off his preparations for next week’s Australian Open with a victory over American Sam Querrey at the Kooyong Classic.

Murray, who has been seeded fifth for the year’s first Grand Slam, beat Querrey 6-1, 6-4 in the exhibition match in Melbourne.

The Scot is desperate to land his first major title, having enjoyed a breakthrough year in 2009, reaching a career-high world ranking of No2. His seeding reflects his current ranking, and places him behind Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro.

Murray has begun the year in encouraging form, his blossoming partnership with rising star Laura Robson helping Great Britain reach a first Hopman Cup final last week. US Open champion Del Potro, however, has injury worries after pulling out of the Kooyong Classic citing a wrist problem.

Robson, meanwhile, yesterday began her Australian Open campaign with victory in the first qualifying round.

The 15-year-old, who was given a wild card entry, beat home hopeful Sophie Ferguson 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 to set up a clash with Michaella Krajicek. Fellow Briton Naomi Cavaday also progressed but Melanie South lost.

Meanwhile, organisers have resisted the temptation to seed former world No1 Justine Henin at the Australian Open, the Belgian’s first Grand Slam since coming out of retirement.