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Murray wins Brisbane International title

(AP Photo/Tertius Pickard)

By JOHN PYE

AP Sports Writer

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) Andy Murray warmed up for the Australian Open with a commanding 6-1, 6-3 victory over third-seeded Alexandr Dolgopolov on Sunday in the Brisbane International final.

For the second consecutive match, Murray had Ivan Lendl watching from courtside. Aiming to break a drought for British men at the majors dating to 1936, Murray hired the eight-time Grand Slam tournament winner as coach earlier this month and the pair met up Saturday in Brisbane.

"I'd like to thank my team ... Mr. Lendl, he's up there somewhere, hiding," Murray said. "It's my first week with this new team and it was good. I really enjoyed it. Hopefully it'll bring more success in the future."

The 24-year-old Murray has lost the past two Australian Open finals and is 0-3 in major finals.

The Scot's confidence high after capturing his 22nd ATP title, Murray will spend the next week in Melbourne preparing for the Australian Open, which starts Jan. 16.

Murray, ranked No. 4, raced through the first set in 26 minutes. He didn't lose a point on his own serve until the last game, when the Ukrainian twice had breakpoint chances but was unable to convert.

Murray won nine straight games from 1-1 in the first to take the match away from Dolgopolov, who rallied briefly by winning three in a row - including his only break against the Scot to get the second set back to 4-3.

But Murray held to regain momentum and then broke Dolgopolov's serve for the fifth time in the match to finish it off in 65 minutes.

Murray started the week slowly, dropping the opening sets of his first two matches and complaining of aches and pains, but didn't lose a service game in the quarterfinal and semifinal as he gradually got his match fitness back up to speed. And he didn't show any sign of the groin strain which prematurely ended his 2011 season.

The 23-year-old Dolgopolov moved up to a year-end No. 15 in 2011 and is aiming for his second ATP title, but was never in contention in the final. He has lost all three of his matches against Murray, including the Australian Open quarterfinals last year.

Dolgopolov strained his groin in his semifinal win over second-seeded Gilles Simon and wasn't at his peak against Murray.

"I'd like to say sorry for some boring tennis from me today," Dolgopolov told the crowd, "but that's the best I could do. ... I wasn't really fit and feeling good this week, but I made the final, so I'm really happy."

Updated January 8, 2012

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