Murray wins at Kooyong, Norrie dodges the rain in Auckland

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Five-times Australian Open runner-up Andy Murray finally got his first victory of the year with a 2-6 6-3 10-2 super tiebreaker win over Zïhang Zhizen at the Kooyong Classic exhibition event on Wednesday.

The 35-year-old twice Wimbledon champion was ousted in the opening round of the Adelaide International warm-up event last week and looked to be heading for another defeat when he went a set down to the Chinese world number 97.

The Briton rallied to level up the contest, however, and raced away with the super tiebreaker to seal the win in just over an hour.

“He served well and was taking my time away but I managed to gradually improve as the match went on,” Murray said.

Current British number one Cameron Norrie had a less straightforward day at the Auckland Open, needing nearly six hours to reach the quarter-finals with a 6-4 6-7(4) 6-3 win over Jiri Lehecka.

Much of that time was spent in the dressing room waiting for the wet weather to pass and the match was concluded indoors when the rain persisted.

Play had returned to the outside courts at the Auckland Open on Wednesday after being moved indoors with no crowds on Tuesday because of Cyclone Hale.

“It’s tough on the concentration,” said the world number 12, who remained unbeaten in the new season after three wins at the United Cup last week, including a victory over Rafael Nadal.

The rain was not the only problem Norrie faced and he had to dig deep to subdue the Czech after the 21-year-old had played sublime tennis to win the second set on a tiebreak.

“Credit to him, he really took it to me,” said Norrie, who was raised in Auckland. “I really enjoyed the time on center court, it’s good to be back in New Zealand, I’m just a little bit disappointed I couldn’t talk in front of (the crowd).”
The opening second round match on the main show court had lasted only one set before Argentine Diego Schwartzman, who was trailing 6-1 to American Jenson Brooksby, withdrew with a leg injury

Weather permitting, top seed Casper Ruud is due to make his first appearance of the tournament against Laslo Djere in the evening session.

Former US Open champion Dominic Thiem also got his first win at Kooyong, beating American world number 17 Francis Tiafoe 7-6(4) 6-2.

The Austrian, on the comeback trail after a serious wrist injury, said that while he was not back at his best, the win showed he was “going in the right direction”.

In the other ATP warm-up tournament in Adelaide, top seed Andrey Rublev will face local defending champion Thanasi Kokkinakis in the second round later on Wednesday.