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Murray dispels Brisbane injury fears

ESPN staff
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Andy Murray struggled physically in Brisbane © Getty Images
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Andy Murray is convinced Thursday's three-set triumph over John Millman will significantly aid his preparations for the Australian Open.

Eyebrows were raised by Murray's struggle against the world No. 199 in Brisbane, with the defending champion eventually emerging victorious 6-1 5-7 6-3 after over two hours on court.

However, far from expressing concern about the dropped set, Murray highlighted the adaptation his body needs to make at the start of every season. The Brit was seen holding his stomach and legs as the match progressed, but insists game-time is vital ahead of the Australian Open.

"It's incredibly humid here and I've had a lot of travelling too, and there were so many long points of very high intensity," Murray said. "It's just taking a little while to adjust to playing matches again after such a long period.

"At the beginning of most years the first few matches can be tough on the body, but you get used to it and you feel better and better.

"That was the perfect first match for me in many ways, to go through some tough moments, a lot of long rallies and close games and important points, and to come through."

Murray is not alone in experiencing early season difficulties, with Novak Djokovic beaten by Bernard Tomic in the Hopman Cup. And the defending Brisbane champion, who faces Denis Istomin in the quarter-finals, revealed he knew he was in for a long match against Millman.

"I knew he has a good work rate," Murray said. "He's gone through a lot of tough losses and kept fighting and he had an injury a few years ago and came back.

"He's a lot better than his ranking, that's for sure. I expected a tough match and didn't expect him to go away, and he didn't."

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