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Andy Murray says his winning return against Stanislas Wawrinka in the Mubadala World Tennis Championship exhibition was the “perfect” way to begin his bid for glory over the next 12 months.
The Scot eventually finished fifth overall in the warm-up tournament after losing to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Boxing Day, but he was impressive as he saw off Wawrinka 6-3 6-4.
It was Murray’s first action since he helped Great Britain beat Croatia to reach the Davis Cup World Group in September and he looked in good shape.
After suffering from a long-term back problem, Murray decided to have a minor operation in the autumn, which meant he missed the season-ending ATP World Tour Finals in London.
The world number four will now continue to prepare for the first Grand Slam of 2014 – the Australian Open which begins on January 13 in Melbourne – after coming through the first real test of his comeback.
He said: “I feel pretty good, a lot better than I did a few months ago. I just need to play more matches like this because the intensity’s a lot higher than you can get in practice.
“It was good to get two matches against top players. Everyone needs matches at this stage, especially me. It’s been a perfect start and hopefully I’ll get better.”