Britain's Andy Murray returns the ball to Nicolas Mahut of France during their first round match of the 42nd ABN AMRO world tennis tournament at Ahoy Arena in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
Peter Dejong
February 24, 2015

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) Third-seeded Andy Murray was given a workout by Gilles Muller of Luxembourg before securing a 6-4, 7-5 win for passage to the Dubai Championships second round on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, fourth-seeded Tomas Berdych, a finalist at Dubai the last two years, opened his account by beating Jeremy Chardy of France 7-6 (2), 6-4.

Murray and Muller gave spectators plenty of drama.

It took Muller 30 points and withstanding four break points to hold serve in the third game of the first set.

''I made him work very hard on his service games,'' Murray said. ''That was something I wanted to try to do from early on.''

In the final game of the first set, Murray served three aces, three double faults, and saved a break point before winning the 16-point game.

Serving for the match at 5-4 in the second, Murray fell behind 15-40, and watched Muller break his serve with a backhand crosscourt net cord shot.

Murray won the next two games for the match, breaking serve when Muller double-faulted at 30-40 in the 11th game.

''The end of both sets I didn't serve so well,'' Murray said. ''But apart from that, I didn't give him any opportunities really.''

Berdych started off 2-0, but Chardy rebounded and played solid tennis until Berdych raced to a 5-0 lead in the tiebreaker.

''I made it complicated a bit more than usual,'' Berdych said. ''Not every day it's going to be perfect. We don't have to be perfect.''

The win put Berdych one match victory away from claiming 500 match wins in his career.

Elsewhere, sixth-seeded Feliciano Lopez of Spain defeated qualifier James Ward of Britain 6-4, 6-4, and seventh-seeded Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain defeated Dominic Thiem of Austria 6-3, 6-2.

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