Murray’s solid Australian Open preparations to continue

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Andy Murray may not have been at his commanding best in his scrappy victory against Gilles Muller at the Brisbane International, but once again his steely determination was enough to see him progress.

His service game deserted him in the first set and he found himself a set down before going on to record a 4-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-0 victory.

Murray now faces doubles partner Marcos Baghdatis in the last eight of the competition and is the big favourite to progress at 1/4.

Murray is exactly 40 places above the Cypriot in the world rankings but the game promises to be closer than the rankings suggest.

They have played each other five times in the past with Baghdatis coming out on top on three occasions.

Murray may have won the last encounter but Baghdatis had the upper hand in the meeting prior to that and the Scot has never beaten Baghdatis in straight sets.

With the 26-year-old knowing Murray well from their time spent on court together in the doubles, this has all the makings of a close encounter.

However, Murray should have enough to make the last four so backing him to win 2-1 at 3/1 is a bet well worth consideration.

A victory is important for Murray as he continues his preparations for the first Grand Slam of the season, the Australian Open.

Murray made it to the final in Melbourne Park last year before losing in straight sets to a dominant Novak Djokovic and can be backed at 5/1 – shorter than World No.2 Rafa Nadal who is 6/1 – to go one better this time out.

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