Murray relief after "traumatic" sparrow death

By Alastair Himmer

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Andy Murray's thoughts turned to a baby sparrow accidentally killed by brother Jamie moments after reaching the second round of the Australian Open on Tuesday.

The Briton's win over Slovakia's Karol Beck, who retired hurt with the fifth seed up 6-3 6-1 4-2, was overshadowed by a freak incident involving big brother Jamie.

"He hit a baby sparrow when he was practicing his serve," a glum-looking Murray told reporters. "I think he killed it. My mum told me about it when I woke up this morning.

"I hope he didn't do it on purpose. I haven't seen him yet today. It was a pretty traumatic start to the day..."

Murray, runner-up last year in Melbourne, got to take an early shower after a misfiring Beck called it quits because of a sore shoulder in a match that was not one for the purists.

"It's nice to go through with no drama," said Murray. "Everyone always has slight doubts before the start of a tournament. You're always a bit nervous."

Beck played horribly before trudging off court, committing 43 unforced errors, many of them absolute howlers.

He spent much of the match growling at himself angrily while Murray, who lost to Roger Federer in last year's final, rarely needed to rise above the ordinary.

Beck attempted to go out all guns blazing but it was too little, too late.

"He started throwing everything at me," said Murray, who next faces Ukrainian Illya Marchenko.

"He went for some huge shots. It was high-risk tennis and I had to weather the storm a little bit.

"He managed to make a few mistakes before he stopped," he added with considerable understatement.

(Editing by Peter Rutherford)