Murray into third round at Brisbane

• US Open champion taken to three sets by world No199
• Watson a doubt for Australian Open with elbow problem

Andy Murray narrowly avoided the wrath of his coach, Ivan Lendl, after labouring to a 6-1, 5-7, 6-3 win over the Australian qualifier John Millman in his opening match at the Brisbane International.

The US Open champion ran hot but mostly cold against the world No199 in a match of wildly fluctuating tennis that lasted two hours and four minutes at the Pat Rafter Arena.

Murray revealed that the former world No1 Lendl, who was due to arrive in Brisbane on Friday, had not even considered the possibility of the Scot losing to Millman. Before the second-round match, Lendl had sent a text message to the 25-year-old's hitting partner Danny Vallverdu asking what time Murray's quarter-final against Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin would be on Friday.

"December 22 was the last day we trained in Miami before I went home. He messaged Danny and said: 'Can you send me the score and what time he's playing tomorrow before the match?' He hadn't heard of John before," said Murray.

"He was obviously expecting me to come through, but it was very nearly a different story. The depth of the game now is so, so strong. None of the matches are easy. It was a bit different back in Ivan's day where they could kind of cruise a little bit the first couple rounds."

Heather Watson has withdrawn from the Moorilla Hobart International due to injury, raising doubts over her participation in the Australian Open.

The 20-year-old revealed she had suffered an elbow problem in Wednesday's defeat to Kiki Bertens in the second round of the ASB Classic in Auckland.

She tweeted: "I injured my elbow yesterday in my singles match, unfortunately I have to withdraw from Hobart. Doing everything I can to get healthy."

Watson, who played doubles in Auckland after her singles defeat, faces a race against time to be fit for the first grand slam of the year, which begins on 14 January at Melbourne Park.