Australian Open Tennis: Murray breezes into third round

Australian Open Tennis: Murray breezes into third round

British number one Andy Murray had an easy passage into the third round of the Australian Open when he breezed past Illya Marchenko at the Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne on Thursday.

Fifth-seeded Murray took less than two hours to brush aside the challenge of the 23-year-old Ukrainian and win 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 setting up a third round match with Spain’s Guillermo Garcia-Lopez  at the weekend.

Murray served up 8 first-set aces as he fired into a one-set lead in under half an hour. Marchenko offered some resistance in the second set when he broke Murray’s serve for the only time in the match, but Murray broke the Ukrainian’s serve for the third time in the set to take a 2-0 lead and followed up to take the third set in comfortable fashion winning the match in straight sets.

Saturday’s opponent Garcia-Lopez is seeded 32 and has never progressed beyond the third round of the Australian Open. Murray defeated the 27-year-old Spaniard on their only previous encounter at the Queens Club in 2009 and it would be a major upset if Garcia-Lopez stopped Murray progressing into the second week.

The 23-year-old Scot is looking to follow up his appearance in last year’s final by winning his first grand slam title this fortnight and bookmakers believe he will put up a strong challenge again this year. After smooth displays in the first two rounds, Murray is third favourite to win the Australian Open title behind bookie’s favourites Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer with 888Sport offering odds of 8/1 for Murray to break his grand slam duck.

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