Monday 19 February 2018

Tennis: Andy Murray coasts to second round of Australian Open

Andy Murray serves in his second round match against Edouard Roger-Vasselin. Photo: Getty Images
Andy Murray serves in his second round match against Edouard Roger-Vasselin. Photo: Getty Images

Jon Fisher

ANDY MURRAY has beaten France's Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-1 6-4 6-4 in the second round of the Australian Open.

He coasted through his encounter with the shell-shocked Frenchman.

The world number four, who struggled early on in his last match against Ryan Harrison, had no such problems here as he took control from the start.

Roger-Vasselin is ranked 101 and the gulf in class was evident from the off as Murray broke at his first opportunity to establish a 2-0 lead and he swiftly increased that advantage to 4-0.

Roger-Vasselin got on the scoreboard to make it 5-1 but Murray duly closed out the set in just 23 minutes.

Murray wasted four opportunities to claim a break in the first game of the second set - three of them due to backhand errors - as Roger-Vasselin held on to his serve for just the second time in the match.

But after holding in rapid time, the Scot did find a way through, breaking to 15 thanks to a winning cross-court forehand to move 2-1 up.

Although Murray remained in complete control, he was struggling with his break-point conversion rate and three chances to move 4-1 ahead came and went.

Another break would, arguably, have been harsh on Roger-Vasselin who would have won the fifth game earlier but for a challenge from Murray which proved a chipped return, which had been left by the Frenchman, had clipped the outside edge of the line.

Roger-Vasselin, whose father Christophe reached the French Open semi-finals in 1983, was finally beginning to hold his own and remained in touch to make Murray serve for the set at 5-4.

And he made hard work of it, being pegged back to 30-30 before a poor backhand from his opponent and an unreturnable Murray serve handed the fourth seed a two-set lead.

The marked improvement in Roger-Vasselin's game continued into the third set and after holding, the Frenchman set up his first break point which Murray saved with a booming ace out wide, a shot which prompted a loud "come on" from the Scot.

Murray's fifth ace of the game dragged him level at 1-1 but the 28-year-old from Gennevilliers kept his nose in front with some more enterprising play.

It remained on serve until the seventh game of the set when, at 30-40, Murray lashed a first serve from Roger-Vasselin back up the line to claim the break and a 4-3 lead.

Roger-Vasselin rarely threatened a fightback and Murray completed the job by serving it out to move through 6-1 6-4 6-4 in one hour and 58 minutes.

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