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Tennis

No. 3 Murray overpowers Haase in Aussie opener

Photo: Andy Wong/AP

Andy Murray hopes to become the first man to follow his first Grand Slam title with another major win.

Playing his first Grand Slam match as a major winner, Andy Murray looked quite comfortable in his return to the Australian Open.

Murray beat Robin Haase of the Netherlands 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 in the opening round at Melbourne Park on Tuesday.

Asked what it felt like to play after his triumph at the U.S. Open, where he became the first British man since 1936 to win a major title, the third-ranked Murray said: "I can try and focus on the second part of my career now."

The 25-year-old Murray seemed more at ease and relaxed than he has been in previous trips to the season's first major.

"It was a good start, nice to win in straight sets," he said. "It was the hottest day we've had for a while so the court was playing much quicker."

After a record heat wave early last week, the last few days in Melbourne have been cool. The temperature was heading toward 84 degrees when Murray was on Rod Laver Arena.

It's been 12 months since Murray started working with eight-time major winner Ivan Lendl, and he attributes much of the success in his breakthrough 2012 to his partnership with his new coach.

It's relaxed "in front of the cameras, yeah," Murray joked. "Behind closed doors he works me very hard.

"We've had a very good relationship so far. He's very honest, very open. He doesn't lie to you, he tells you exactly how it is and that's exactly what I needed."

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