Tennis: Murray ends landmark year with win over Raonic

Reuters , Saturday 31 Dec 2016

Canada's Milos Raonic returns the ball to Scotland's Andy Murray during the third tennis place match at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship 2016 in Abu Dhabi on December 31, 2016. (AFP)

World number one Andy Murray ended 2016 with a 6-3 7-6(6) win over big-serving Canadian Milos Raonic to take third place at the year-ending exhibition tournament Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.

The 29-year-old Scot succumbed to a surprise loss to Belgian David Goffin on Friday, having ended the official season with a 24-game string of wins.

Murray started the match quickly, breaking Raonic in his first two service games to take the first set. He survived a fight-back from Raonic in the second set, before wrapping up the match in the tie-break.

"It was good to finish the year with a win. It was a good match to work on returns as Milos has a strong serve," said Murray, who has just been knighted in the New Year Honours list.

"I still feel like Andy Murray -- that feels more normal. But I am happy with the knighthood, and it is a nice way to start the new year."

Murray ended 2016 at the top of the men's rankings for the first time having won titles including Wimbledon, where he beat Raonic in the final, and the Rio Olympics and ATP World Tour Finals.

He will be looking to defend his world number one ranking at the Australian Open starting in mid-January. Murray has been the runner-up in the men's singles competition in Australia five times but has yet to win it.

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