Murray begins defence with Tokyo win

Updated: October 2, 2012

Defending champion Andy Murray was back in action at the Japan Open for the first time since his epic win in the US win. It was a comfortable victory for the Brit against giant Croatian Ivo Karlovic, 7-6,6-4.

He will now face Slovakia’s Lukas Lacko in the second round.

Japan’s Kei Nishikori defeated compatriot Go Soeda, the eighth seed squeaking through 4-6 6-2 6-3.

Nishikori, who reached his first semifinal of the year in Kuala Lumpur last week, next plays Spaniard Tommy Robredo, a 6-2 6-4 winner over Finland’s Jarkko Nieminen.

Big-serving Milos Raonic hit 10 aces in a 6-4 6-4 victory over Czech Radek Stepanek, the Canadian’s 40th win of the year taking him through to face Serbia’s Viktor Troicki.

Former Australian Open finalist Marcos Baghdatis scraped past Ukrainian qualifier Sergiy Stakhovsky 7-6 7-5 to reach the last 16, while Bernard Tomic continued his miserable form going down 6-4 7-5 to Dmitry Tursunov.

In China, Novak Djokovic battled to a 3 set win against Michael Berrer, 6-1, 6-7 (3/7), 6-2, extending his unbeaten record in Beijing to 10.

Third seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France also struggled to a three-set victory over Uzbekistan’s unseeded Denis Istomin, eventually winning 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7/3).