World number one Andy Murray extended his career-best winning streak on the ATP Tour to 25 as he swept past Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-0 7-6(2) in his opener at the Qatar Open on Tuesday.
In his first competitive match of 2017, the 29-year-old Scot, who received a knighthood in the New Year's Honours list after a stunning 2016, dropped seven points in the first set.
Chardy, ranked 69, broke serve at the start of the second set and although he dropped his own immediately he pushed Murray hard for the rest of the match on a warm desert evening.
Unbeaten in ATP Tour since September
Twice Chardy held serve to stay in the match and stretch Murray into a tiebreak but the pressure eventually told on the Frenchman as Murray completed a useful workout when Chardy sent a forehand volley over the baseline.
Olympic and Wimbledon champion Murray, bidding for a third Doha title after wins in 2008 and 2009, will play Austrian Gerald Melzer in the second round.
He is unbeaten in regular tournament play since losing to Kei Nishikori in the U.S. Open quarter-finals in September and won his last five tournaments of 2016 to topple Novak Djokovic from the top of the rankings.
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