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Formidable Murray too strong for Zverev in Perth

Britain's Andy Murray dives for a return shot during his singles match against France's Kenny de Schepper during the Hopman Cup at the Perth Arena

Briton Andy Murray showed no signs of a thigh injury as he dispatched German teenager Alexander Zverev in the punishing Perth heat at the Hopman Cup on Friday.

The world number two had spoken of soreness in his right thigh during Wednesday’s loss to Australian Nick Kyrgios at the mixed team event but his movement was sharp as he picked apart Zverev 6-3 6-4 to keep alive Britain’s hopes of making the final.

Murray, four-times an Australian Open runner-up, wore down his 83rd ranked opponent by keeping him on the move and targeted the German’s inconsistent forehand as he secured an early break in each set.

Zverev, though, refused to balk and continued to try and push Murray. The young German pulled back a break in the eight game of the second set after an error-strewn game by the Scot but Murray recovered to seal on his next service game after a big serve down the middle.

Ever the perfectionist, Murray said he had more work to do before the Australian Open gets underway on Jan. 18 in Melbourne.

“I started missing a few balls and dropping a few short and he was able to dictate some of the points at the end so something I need to do a bit better,” the 28-year-old said in an courtside interview.

“I feel fine, it’s great to get matches in, nice to play during the day to get used to the hot weather. Hopefully it’s not that bad in Melbourne.”

Murray will team up with compatriot Heather Watson in the mixed doubles later on Friday.

Watson began the day by beating Sabine Lisicki 6-3 6-4 and the British pair need to win the doubles to have any chance of overhauling Australia Green, who meet winless France in Friday’s evening session.

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