Tennis ace Andy Murray is overwhelmed with the hospitality he’s been receiving here in the UAE. After seeing off Sergiy Stakhovsky in his first round match on Monday world number-four Murray, a recent winner in Abu Dhabi and Doha, put his recent excellent form in the Gulf down to the treatment he’s been receiving. ‘You get looked after incredibly well in this part of the world,’ he said. ‘I’m staying in the nicest hotel I’ve ever stayed in in my life – in the Burj Al Arab.’
He was handed a hotel upgrade to the exclusive seven-star pad after the two highest ranked players – Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal – withdrew, leaving Murray and world number-three Novak Djokovic to fill their shoes. When asked about the size of his room – reputedly an exclusive split level suite in the world’s tallest hotel – he said: ‘It’s bigger than my apartment in London.’ The newly installed number-two seed struggled through his opening match, clearly feeling the effects of an ankle injury he picked up last week in Rotterdam.
He lost the first set on a tie break, before taking the second set 6-3. In the first game of the third set he broke Stakhovsky’s serve and led 5-3 when his Ukrainian opponent, also feeling the effects of an ankle injury that he picked up in the match, decided to pull out.
Murray will now play either Arnaud Clement of France or Rainer Schuettler of Germany in the next round.