Andy Murray through to second round of Japan Open after beating Ivo Karlovic

Last Updated: 02/10/12 12:23pm

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Andy Murray (L): Into second round of Japan Open after victory over Ivo Karlovic

Andy Murray (L): Into second round of Japan Open after victory over Ivo Karlovic

Sky Bet

Andy Murray booked his place in the second round of the Japan Open after a straight-sets victory over Ivo Karlovic.

Karlovic entered the tournament as a lucky loser after the Scot's first-round opponent Gael Monfils pulled out through injury.

The 25-year-old, who was playing in his first match since winning the US Open, failed to take any of his break points in the first set before prevailing in a tie-break.

The second set progressed in a similar manner until the 10th game, when Murray went up 0-40 to set up three match points.

The Croatian saved two but Murray took the third to secure a 7-6 (9/7) 6-4 victory - his fifth in a row against Karlovic - and set up a clash with Slovakian Lukas Lacko.

"A good thing was I found last night that I was going to play Karlovic, so I had the evening to think about the match a little bit and I was able to practise this morning," Murray said.

"I was able to practise things I need to when I play against a big server and someone who comes into the net a lot."

Elsewhere, fifth seed Nicolas Almagro was a first-round casualty as Japan's Tatsuma Ito claimed a 7-6 (7/4) 7-6 (7/5) victory to delight the home crowd.

Fellow seeds Milos Raonic and Kei Nishikori progressed safely through at the expense of Radek Stepanek and Go Soeda respectively.

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