Andy Murray had a shaky start to his preparations for the 2013 season Thursday, losing in straight sets to Janko Tipsarevic in the opening match of the World Tennis Championship exhibition tournament.
Two early breaks in each set helped Tipsarevic dispatch the third-ranked Murray 6-3, 6-4. The ninth-ranked Serb now faces Nicolas Almagro, a late replacement for Rafael Nadal who pulled out of the tournament with a stomach bug.
In Thursday's other match, fifth-ranked David Ferrer swept aside No. 6 Tomas Berdych 6-2, 6-4 to set up a semifinal against top-ranked Novak Djokovic, who won the tournament last year. Ferrer easily won the first set after jumping out to a 5-0 lead and broke Berdych early in the second to clinch the win.