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Murray serves up first round win over Goffin at Indian Wells

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INDIAN WELLS, California : Andy Murray has struggled on court in recent months but the Briton delivered a serving master class to beat David Goffin 6-3 6-2 in the first round of Indian Wells on Wednesday.

The 36-year-old said late last month that he is likely to finish his career after the summer, though he hopes to get the chance to win a third Olympic gold medal at the Paris Games.

While he may never recover the kind of form that saw him win three Grand Slam titles, the former world number one, now ranked 61st, looked dangerous on centre court, beating the Belgian for an eighth consecutive time.

Murray, who will next meet Andrey Rublev, said getting his serve working well made all the difference.

“For me it was the serve,” said Murray, who won 85 per cent of his first serve points and hit four aces.

“That frees up a lot of the rest of my game. When you’re always having to fight and work for points on your own serve, you feel more under pressure but today I got a lot of free points off my serve.

“That freed me up in the return games and I was able to strike the ball well from the back of the court, defended well when I had to. An all-around solid performance.”

In other first round matches, Brandon Nakashima never faced a break point as he beat fellow American Christopher Eubanks 6-3 7-6(3) to set up a meeting with Czech Jiri Lehecka.

“Playing a guy like Chris, who has a big game, big serve, I knew I just had to do my best to hold my serve and knew I was going to get opportunities on his serve,” Nakashima said.

“I think this surface favours me a little bit more. With the slower surface, the ball’s not coming at me as fast. But I’m happy with the way I played.”

Australians Thanasi Kokkinakis and Christopher O’Connell, Japan’s Taro Daniel, and Hungarian Fabian Marozsan were among the other players advancing to the second round of the Masters 1000 event in the California desert on Wednesday.

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