27 Dec 2013

Murray shrugs off defeat in UAE

9:13 am on 27 December 2013

British tennis number one Andy Murray's return from a three-month injury lay-off ended in a straight sets defeat to France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in Abu Dhabi.

The Wimbledon champion and world number four went down 7-5 6-3 to 10th-ranked Tsonga on the opening day of the three-day exhibition tournament, the Mubadala World Tennis Championship.

Murray underwent back surgery in September and the 26-year-old says Tsonga was just sharper than him on the day and he served very well.

Tsonga went into the match with an 8-1 career deficit in competitive matches.

Even though their clash was an exhibition meeting, the 28-year-old Frenchman was happy to have secured a rare triumph.

Tsonga says it's not often he takes two sets off Murray, even in practice.

The Mubadala Championship continues on Saturday with world number one Rafael Nadal facing fellow Spaniard David Ferrer, who beat Switzerland's Stanislas Wawrinka 7-5 6-1.

Tsonga will face world number two Novak Djokovic.