21 Jan 2009

Murray gifted place in second round of Australian Tennis Open

6:09 am on 21 January 2009

Scotland's Andy Murray's been gifted a place in the second round of the Australian Tennis Open with Romania's Andrei Pavel retiring with a back injury.

The fourth seed Murray was leading 6-2 3-1 when the 34 year old Pavel withdrew saying he was in too much pain to continue before declaring he was quitting the sport altogether.

Pavel, the second oldest man on the men's tour, missed most of last year because of a long-term back problem but wanted to play one final season before retiring.

In the women's draw former triple champion Serena Williams breezed into the second round overpowering China's Yuan Meng in straight sets.

The fourth seed Elena Dementieva of Russia is also through to the second round with a straight sets win over Kristina Barrois of Germany, although Dementieva only won the first set on a tiebreaker.