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Murray through to Round 2 with patchy win over Ilya Marchenko at Australian Open 2017

Andy Murray is through to the second round in straight sets, but it was not an easy contest.

16 Jan 2017, 13:07 IST
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 16:  Andy Murray of Great Britain plays a backhand in his first round match against Illya Marchenko of the Ukraine on day one of the 2017 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 16, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

World no. 1 and top seed Andy Murray got through a tough challenge posed by Ilya Marchenko, winning 7-5, 7-6(5), 6-2. Though he began his Australian Open campaign with a win, the Scot will not be too pleased with his performance today in a match that lasted 2 hours, 47 minutes.

Here’s how their tie went:

Set I

The World no. 1 won the toss and decided to serve ahead in the first set. This is the first time Murray started the Australian Open as the no. 1 seed.

He got off to the worst possible start.

Murray’s serve didn’t show up at all as he piled up three consecutive double faults in the opening game, and he was broken by the Ukrainian right away. In the very next game, Marchenko followed up with a stream of unforced errors to give the break back to Murray. The score line read 1-1.

Murray won three consecutive games after that break to reach 4-1. He was finally serving for the set at 5-2 when the Ukrainian decided that he wasn’t done yet. He broke Murray yet again and rallied to a score of 5-5. Murray however, was determined to win the set and broke for the third time in the set at 6-5 to win the first set 7-5.

The first set was categorized by consistent errors, forgettable serving and rusty play, with Murray clawing back to stretch for a 7-5 win.

Set II

The second set started well for the world no. 74 as he went on the break Murray at 2-1. He was aggressive from the word go and put the Scot’s serve under the hammer.

However, in trying to get the best out of his game, the Ukrainian’s shots started going long or dashing at the net. Murray began to push back on his service games from Marchenko and was finally able to break and reach a score of 4-4.

Five-time Australian Open finalist Murray’s game showed considerable improvement in the course of the set, with the Scot taking it to a tie breaker. His serve peaked during the tiebreak and he even slammed an ace to get three set points at 6-3 in the tie break. After a slight pull back from Marchenko, Murray was able to convert the last point, which was on his own serve, to clinch the second set 7-6.

This set displayed better composure from Murray and a wide string of errors from his opponent.


Murray looked a lot more prepared, assured and confident in the third set. He hardly gave any room for the Ukrainian to have a chance in the game and broke immediately to lead the set 2-1. He followed that up with a double break at 4-1.

He served for the match at 5-2 and was able to do it with considerable dominance. He wrapped up the set at 6-2.

Murray has started off with a straight sets victory, but did not come up with the game expected from the best in the world. His shot making was initially quite sloppy and his only 48% of his first serves were in. His winners to unforced errors ratio was 25:27 – a stat that he will not be happy with at all.

The 6’1” Ukrainian can leave the court with pride. He managed to break the world no. 1 thrice in the match and showed great vigour right from the start of the match.

No wonder he had a career high ranking of 49. Marchenko was in the game for the first two sets but couldn’t hold onto his breaks, which proved instrumental in his loss in the end.

News from other seeds –

  • Fifth seed Kei Nishikori survived a five-setter against the Russian, Andrey Kuznetsov, to win the match 5-7 6-1 6-4 6-7 (6-8) 6-2. He had to take medical treatment in the last set, owing to hip discomfort from a prior injury.
  • Seventh seed Marin Cilic came back from two sets down to win 4-6, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 against Poland’s Jerzy Janowicz. 
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