Andy Murray Defeats Robin Haase at 2013 Australian Open

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Andy Murray Defeats Robin Haase at 2013 Australian Open
Robert Prezioso/Getty Images

Reigning U.S. Open champion Andy Murray did as expected on Day 2 at the 2013 Australian Open, defeating unseeded Dutch player Robin Haase, 6-3, 6-1, 6-3, in the two players' first-round match at Melbourne Park.

The No. 3 seed in the men's draw, Murray, 25, advances to the second round for the sixth time in his professional career, where he will take on the winner of Joao Sousa vs. John-Patrick Smith. 

For the 25-year-old Haase, Tuesday's loss is his second straight first-round defeat at the Australian Open. For Murray, the win means that for a fifth consecutive year he will advance to the second round at Down Under.

Murray, who is considered to be one of the favorites to win the year's first Grand Slam, along with No. 1-seeded Novak Djokovic and No. 2-seeded Roger Federer, has lost in the men's final in two of the past three years. He fell in the semifinals in Melbourne last January, losing to Djokovic in a five-set thriller that lasted nearly five hours.

The Scottish star is coming off the best year of his career in 2012, in which he won Olympic gold in London, broke through for the first time at a major in New York and finished the year with a career-best Slam singles record of 22-3. 2013 also marks the beginning of Murray's second year under coach Ivan Lendl, a former world No. 1 whom he began working with before the start of last year.

With 11-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal out of this year's tournament, and 17-time major winner Federer playing in just his second Slam at the age of 31, Murray looks to be the one man capable of dethroning Djokovic this January.

According to PaddyPower.com, Murray has the second-best odds, behind only two-time defending champion Djokovic to win this year's Australian Open.

 

Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter. 

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