Murray advances in Dubai

Roger Federer took the opening step in his bid for a record eighth title at the Dubai Tennis Championships on Monday with a comprehensive 6-1, 6-3 defeat of Benoit Paire.

Federer, who has a training base in the UAE, defeated Paire for the fourth time without a loss with the Frenchman jeered for tossing a racquet in the second set as he was crashing to defeat.

Murray said he's not sure if the illness had already started developing while he was playing in the Australian Open.

After Dubai, the 35-year-old is due to play in Indian Wells and Miami (starting March 27th).

Murray made a slow start and struggled to find his first serve but he got better as the match went on and emerged a comfortable 6-4 6-1 victor. The Swiss wrapped up the first set after less than 30 minutes with a service victor.

'When I left for Australia I did not tell Rafael, but I said goodbye to everyone there because I knew it would be the last time I would go: the driver, the person who looks after us, the director of the tournament, ' he said.

The second set was equally one-way as Federer went through in well under an hour.

"And when you walk out, I don't know, it's a nice feeling to have. It was a nice welcome".

Third seed Federer has now won 48 and lost five of his matches in the ATP 500 event after breaking twice in each set to set up a second-round meeting with Mikhail Youzhny or Evgeny Donskoy.

In contrast, the Swiss three-time Grand Slam victor Wawrinka was beaten 7-6 (7/4), 6-3 in the first round by outsider Damir Dzumhur. And because of the week being gone after Wimbledon and now being put in between Paris and Wimbledon, I have less time also after Wimbledon going into the American summer.

"I'm fine now. I've been training flat-out for the past few weeks".

  • Julie Sanders