World number one Andy Murray made the perfect start to 2017 as he brushed aside Frenchman Jeremy Chardy to reach the second round of the Qatar Tennis Open.
This was Murray’s first official match of the year, after playing an exhibition event in Abu Dhabi- where he suffered a shock defeat to David Goffin before beating the giant Canadian Milos Raonic.
An upset never looked on the cards here, though, as the 29-year-old Scott recorded a 6-0 7-6 (2) victory to chalk up his 25th consecutive win.
Murray will now face world number 68 Gerald Melzer of Austria in the second round.
Looking further ahead, the British number one could come up against his main nemesis Novak Djokovic in Sunday’s final, with both looking to fine-tune their game ahead of the Australian Open later this month.
The Scott won’t be looking that far ahead just yet. However, if this performance is anything to go by, Murray – unsurprisingly - is ready to begin the new year the way he spectacularly finished the last one.
Murray races through the first set
World number 69, Chardy, provided little resistance in the opening set, which Murray claimed with just 20 minutes on the clock.
At 6 ft 2, one of the Chardy’s major weapons is his serve, however the rangy Frenchman regularly struggled with his ball toss and Murray took full advantage.
In the extended rallies, Murray’s balance and dexterity predictably overcame the erratic groundstrokes of the Frenchman.
Chardy forces a tie break in the second
Yet, in the second set, Chardy began to make a match of it and showed flashes of the player who reached a career high of 25 in the world back in 2013.
He broke Murray’s serve for the first time in the first game of the set, however the Scott responded immediately to level the score at 1-1.
Yet, Chardy’s serve was far more affective in the second half of the match, which allowed him force a tie break.
That was as good as it got for the Frenchman, though, as Murray dominated the breaker, taking it 7-2 to close out the victory in an hour and 21 minutes.