Tennis: Perfect for Jonny Marray as year starts with a title

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Sheffield’s Jonny Marray hailed a ‘perfect start’ to his year after picking up his first ATP World Tour title.

Marray and doubles partner Yen-Hsun Lu of Taipei beat No 1 seeds Raven Klaasen (South Africa) and Leander Paes (India) 6-3 7-6 in yesterday’s final of the Aircel Chennai Open in India in what was the former All Saints school student’s first tournament of 2015.

The 33-year-old told The Star: “It has been the perfect start to the year.

“It’s always great fun playing with ‘Rendy’ (Lu) and it is great to go to the Australian Open with some wins and some confidence.”

The new partnership earned their place in the final by beating India’s Purav Raja and Canada’s Adil Shamasdin 5-7 6-3 10-8 in the semi-finals on Saturday.

Marray’s world ranking will receive a big boost today as 250 ranking points are added to his total and he also will bank a half share of the first prize cheque of $22,300.

Last Thursday Marray and Lu beat second seeds Andre Begemann of Germany and Holland’s Robin Haase in the ATP 250 tournament’s quarter final 6-3 7-6(2) 10-6 after they’d already seen off Indian wild card pair Sriram Balaji and Jeevan Nedunchezhiyan 6-3 4-6 10-6 in the first round.

Marray confirmed to The Star that he isn’t playing in this week’s Heineken Open in Auckland, New Zealand, or the Apia International in Sydney, Australia, and will instead arrive in Melbourne today where his preparation for the season’s first Grand Slam event will begin.

After winning the 2012 Wimbledon double’s title with Denmark’s Freddie Nielsen, Marray has had a host of different playing partners.

And it will be no different at the Australian Open where he’ll be teamed with Ukrainian Sergiy Stakhovsky.

It was a good weekend for British doubles players with Jamie Murray and Australian John Peers claiming their fifth men’s doubles title together by beating Alexandr Dolgopolov and Kei Nishikori in the final of the Brisbane International.