Murray marches on with battling win over Muller

TOP SEED Andy Murray insists he is beginning to shake off signs of early season ring rust after booking his place in the last eight of the Brisbane International with a laboured victory over Luxembourg’s Gilles Muller.

Despite his upbeat assessment, it was another largely unconvincing performance from the British No1. Murray, as was the case in his first round match against Mikhail Kukushkin, dropped the opening set before staging a recovery to secure a hardfought 4-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-0 win.

Murray rushed through the deciding set, breaking his opponent three times, but was again on court for over two hours – hardly ideal ahead of his quarter-final match against Marcos Baghdatis today – but the Scot insists his Australian Open preparations are going according to plan.

“I felt I moved better in the second and third sets and that’s such a big part of my game,” said Murray, who is likely to be seeded fourth for the first grand slam of the year which starts on 16 January. “I was happy to get the win – the more matches I can get this week, the better.”