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Holder Murray, Federer, Nadal win in Qatar

  • Story Highlights
  • British number one Andy Murray launches his title defense at the Qatar Open
  • Scot has straightforward 6-2 6-4 first round win over Spain's Albert Montanes
  • World No. 1 Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer also register comfortable wins
  • Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic beaten in Brisbane opening round
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(CNN) -- British number one Andy Murray launched his title defense at the Qatar Open with a straightforward 6-2 6-4 first round victory over Spain's Albert Montanes on Tuesday.

British number one Murray always looked in command as he opened his Qatar Open title defense with a win.

British number one Murray always looked in command as he opened his Qatar Open title defense with a win.

"The conditions were tough today. It was cold and windy on court. But I played well for the majority of the match and I was happy to win in two sets," said Murray.

Murray displayed flashes of the form that floored Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal as the Scot lifted the World Tennis Championship title in Abu Dhabi last week, breaking his opponent's serve four times.

World number one Rafael Nadal thrashed Frenchman Fabrice Santoro 6-0 6-1 in just 46 minutes to reach the second stage.

"It was a quick start and that is good for me," said Nadal who won eight title last season. "I didn't expect it so easy because Santoro is a tough player. His style of play makes it difficult for the opponent to find his rhythm."

Federer eased past Potito Starace of Italy 6-2 6-2 as he continued his build-up to the Australian Open later this month.

"It's good to start the year with a win. For your first match you always feel the nerves," he said. "It's good to play a tournament with similar court and similar balls as the Australian Open.

"I'm excited about this month. It's a big one, and hopefully it will give me momentum for the rest of the season."

Spaniard Montanes double-faulted in the third game while a combination of clever drop shots and unforced errors from his opponent allowed U.S. Open finalist Murray to break again for a 5-2 lead.

Montanes had a chance to recover when untidy play gifted the world number 43 four break points. He failed to take advantage and Murray clinched the set after his rival sent a forehand long.

Murray moved into a 4-0 lead in the second, but then allowed his opponent to win three successive games before holding serve for 5-3.

Montanes held again, leaving Murray to serve out to love to set up a second-round tie with Germany's Philipp Petzschner.

Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic slumped to a shock first round defeat at the Brisbane International where the Serb lost 6-4 6-4 against unseeded Latvian Ernests Gulbis.

Second-seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga had no such problems, ousting Argentine Agustin Calleri 6-2 7-5.

Fifth seed Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic also progresses 6-0 6-4 against local hope Brydan Klein while Frenchman Richard Gasquet was one step ahead when he denied American Taylor Dent 7-5 6-4 to reach the third round.

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