- Mubadala Tennis Championship
Murray beaten by Tipsarevic on season opener
Andy Murray made a stuttering start to the new season as he was beaten by Janko Tipsarevic at the Mubadala Tennis Championship.
The US Open champion stepped up his Australian Open preparations at the six-man exhibition event in Abu Dhabi, but failed to hit the ground running as he was beaten in straight sets.
Murray, who has spent the off-season training in Miami with coach Ivan Lendl, looked some way off his best as he slumped to a 6-3 6-4 defeat.
The British No. 1 will now head to Australia for the defence of his Brisbane International title ahead of the first grand slam of the year in Melbourne on January 14.
After a momentary delay for a brief rain shower after a single point had been played, Murray made a bright start, but missed a chance to take an early lead.
The Scot was then made to pay for a sloppy game, as Tipsarevic made the breakthrough, breaking Murray to love for a 3-1 lead. The world No. 3, who won the inaugural event in 2009, showed flashes of brilliance, but a number of unforced errors proved costly.
Tipsarevic briefly wobbled when serving for the opener, but fended off a couple of break points to close out the first set. An early break in the second set put him on course for victory, and although Murray began to find his range, he was unable to find a way back into the contest.
Meanwhile, David Ferrer booked a semi-final clash with world No. 1 Novak Djokovic after he defeated Tomas Berdych 6-2 6-4.
The Spaniard began the new season in style as he raced to a 5-0 lead before comfortably wrapping up the opening set. Berdych provided greater resistance in the second, but Ferrer was able to effectively neutralise the Czech's power, breaking for a 5-4 lead before wrapping up victory with a forehand down the line.