Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

Murray continues Australian Open charge

Andy Murray finally got his Australian Open campaign off the ground today with a 6-4 6-2 6-2 victory against Marcel Granollers.

Murray had only 45 minutes on court in Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday after first-round opponent Andrei Pavel retired hurt.





But he got a longer work-out in today's night session, taking one hour 50 minutes for his straight-sets win against 22-year-old Spaniard Granollers.





While Murray never looked in trouble during the second-round match, there were times when he was clearly frustrated with his efforts, berating himself on a couple of occasions in the second set and again in the third.





But it was a comfortable enough win for the British number one, who has been tipped as a title contender at this year's tournament, and he will be better for finally having a full match under his belt.





The first two games went with serve as the players warmed to their task.





But then came successive breaks as Murray benefited from a Granollers forehand into the net to take a 2-1 lead, only to squander it despite being 40-0 up in the next game.





Some missed first serves, a winner down the line from his Spanish opponent and unforced errors by Murray allowed Granollers to break back immediately and the set went with serve until the seventh game when the 21-year-old Scot broke the Granollers serve for the second time, although he took three attempts to do so.





That gave him a 4-3 lead and, after the next two games went with serve, he served for the set which he claimed with a forehand winner.





Murray, the world number four, was on the front foot immediately in the second set, breaking Granollers, ranked 47 places below, in the opening game.





He then comfortably held his own serve for a 2-0 lead to the delight of his vocal supporters in Rod Laver Arena.





But he spurned a good chance to extend that to three games when he fired a backhand into the net, which allowed Granollers back to deuce, and then handed the game to the Spaniard with a forehand into the net.





Another forehand into the net that allowed his opponent to level 15-15 in Murray's service game prompted a frustrated "c'mon" from the Scotsman but he kept his cool to hold serve.





There was another cry of "rubbish" from Murray when Granollers outmanoeuvred him to get an easy winner in open court to seal his service game and make it 3-2.





A love game from the 21-year-old British number one restored the two-game advantage and that quickly became three when unforced errors, including a double-fault on break point by his opponent, handed him the seventh game and a double break.





He appeared to be distracted after being forced to replay a point when 30-15 in the next and Granollers took him to deuce.





After going a break down, then wasting two more chances to close out the set, Murray finally did so by firing down an ace.





The third set went with serve until the third game, when Murray took five attempts to convert the break for a 2-1 lead, the breakthrough finally coming courtesy of a Granollers forehand into the net.





When another opportunity presented itself again in the fifth game Murray made sure he took it quickly, the forehand winner coming after a neat passage of play that saw both players trying to out-do each other with drop shots and lobs.





The pair then both held their respectively service games before Murray came from 0-30 down to wrap up the match and set up a third round clash with Austrian Jurgen Melzer.



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