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Murray in no hurry to rest

REST-ASSURED: Andy Murray plays a backhand in his Hopman Cup singles match against France’s Kenny De Schepper at Perth Arena on Monday.
REST-ASSURED: Andy Murray plays a backhand in his Hopman Cup singles match against France’s Kenny De Schepper at Perth Arena on Monday. Paul Kanegetty Images

Most of the world's leading players have returned to competition this week following an end-of-year break.

But for Andy Murray the end of his 2015 season has rolled almost seamlessly into his 2016 campaign.

Murray will take on Nick Kyrgios in a much-anticipated clash at the Hopman Cup in Perth tonight as Great Britain looks to build on its first-up 2-1 round-robin win over France on Monday.

The Scot carried on where he left off just 36 days after securing Britain's historic Davis Cup victory with a win over world No.148, Kenny de Schepper, 6-2, 6-2, before returning for a deciding mixed doubles alongside Heather Watson.

Watson had lost her opening singles to Caroline Garcia 6-3, 5-7, 6-3. Murray and Watson beat De Schepper and Garcia 6-2, 5-7, 10-6 to give Britain victory.

Kyrgios will face Murray when Australia Green, one of two teams representing the host nation in the event, plays Britain - a match the Australian said he was keenly anticipating.

"I have been looking forward to facing Murray for a long time now, so I'm going to go and do everything I can to physically prepare for that battle," he said.

Murray has won all four of their previous encounters, most recently in the 2015 US Open, with Kyrgios taking just one set off the Scot in their professional career history.

But Kyrgios looked good in defeating Germany's Alexander Zverev 4-6 6-1 6-4 on Sunday, before helping new Aussie Daria Gavrilova to a doubles win which sealed the pair a 3-0 whitewash of the German team.

Murray has been practising here in Australia for more than a week.

"February will really be my off-season," Murray, whose wife Kim Sears is expecting the couple's first child next month, said.

"That's how I planned it after the Davis Cup because of the way the year finished for me and with everything coming up."

There were times in his opening match when Murray appeared in some physical discomfort, but it was just a legacy of his recent hard work.

"The first week of the year people think you come in well rested, but in fact it's a little bit the opposite," he said.

"You train very hard in the off-season and then when you come to the match court you are moving that little bit quicker, the intensity is that little bit higher and things are a bit stiff and sore. Often I think the first match back after a little break is the toughest one, physically."

- with INM

Topics:  andy murray hopman cup nick kyrgios tennis


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