Murray suffers early-season blow but Nadal roars back with doubles win

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Andy Murray stumbled out of the Melbourne Summer Set tournament after a first-round defeat to Argentinian Facundo Bagnis.

In his opening ATP Tour match of the year, three-time grand slam winner Murray slipped up 6-3 5-7 6-3 against Bagnis, a player who began the year with a 30-59 win-loss career record.

Left-hander Bagnis rose to the occasion on Rod Laver Arena to earn the scalp of the former world number one.

Murray, down at 134th in the rankings after another injury-hit year, is looking to make headway on that front in 2022 under new coach Jan de Witt, so that he can avoid having to take wildcards into tournaments.

He was allowed into this tournament by that back-door route, and has also been confirmed for an Australian Open wildcard, but the Scot could not find the form that saw him beat Rafael Nadal at an exhibition event in Abu Dhabi in late December.

Bagnis said of his win: "In the beginning it was a pleasure to play against Andy and right now to beat him is amazing. I'm really happy."

He added, according to the tournament website: "Yesterday, I came to see the stadium, to see it all around because the atmosphere is different when you play on any court outside… I enjoyed it a lot. It was so good for me."

Nadal was also back in action on Tuesday, playing his first match on the main tour since August as he teamed up with fellow Spaniard Jaume Munar for a doubles win.

A foot injury meant Nadal's 2021 season ended early, but he warmed up for singles tests that lie ahead by joining Munar for a 6-3 3-6 10-4 win over Argentinians Sebastian Baez and Tomas Martin Etcheverry.

At the Adelaide International 1 tournament, there was a notable first-round win on Tuesday for Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis, who saw off compatriot John Millman 6-4 6-3.

Kokkinakis, a major talent as a youngster, is battling to reassert himself on tour after injury troubles, and beating Millman put his name up in lights for at least one day.

He reflected afterwards on the battle it has taken so far, with last year spent largely living out of a suitcase on the second-tier Challenger Tour.

"It was a gruelling year travelling," said Kokkinakis. "I've played a couple of times [in Adelaide] but just in exhibitions, so to play a real meaningful tournament and beat such a quality opponent, a proven veteran like Johnny, means a lot. I played great, and the support was great, so I'm really happy."

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