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Murray makes winning return

Frank Monkhouse | 20 April 2017

Scot back from injury with Monte-Carlo win

World number one Andy Murray marked his comeback from injury, and preparation for the French Open, with a second-round win over Gilles Muller in the Monte-Carlo Masters on Wednesday, to delight British tennis fans.

The Scot had spent the best part of a month on the sidelines with an elbow injury, and looked rusty in the opening exchanges against his 33-year-old opponent from Luxembourg, broken in the first game, but that soon wore off. Murray glided back into the swing of things impressively, following that minor hiccup, going on to record a 7-5, 7-5 success.

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Murray serve cause for concern

Although it was widely expected pre-match, the win would’ve come as a relief for everyone connected to the team, not least of all the player himself. Coral punters may be inclined to back him in the outright market, now that we have seen there appears to be no lasting damage from the knock.

It is very much a work in progress though, as Andy told the press following that win, explaining that he struggled with his serve early in the match, and has only been back serving in practice for four or five days.

Muzza is a third-favourite to win the French Open with Coral, trading 7/2. Top-seed at Monte-Carlo, and given a first-round bye, he now faces Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the next stage later this week, and that shouldn’t present the three-time Grand Slam winner with many problems either, although it will serve as another opportunity to sharpen his tools for the tougher tasks that lie ahead.

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Novak Djokovic already has victories over Dominic Thiem to his credit this season.

Djokovic has to roll up his sleeves

Another returning from injury with a winning effort was Novak Djokovic, who beat Gilles Simon on Tuesday. The super Serb, taking part in his first competitive outing on clay this year, wasn’t quite as impressive as rival Murray, claiming a 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 verdict. Opponent Simon, currently ranked 32nd in the world, had an opportunity to serve for the match, but that seemed to inspire the old fight we are used to seeing in Djok, and he battled back to secure his place in the last 16.

Novak shapes as a two-time winner of this competition, and went in as second-favourite after Nadal, but he was lagging behind the Scotsman when comparing the efforts of both men in their comeback matches. He now faces Carreno-Busta in the next round, and is no bigger than 1/6 to get the desired result, while another 2-1 goes in the set betting at 3/1.

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