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Andy Murray Breezes Into Round Three

PTI 22 Jan 2010, 17:06:54 PM IST
PTI

Scotland's Andy Murray maintained his flawless Australian Open form by advancing to the fourth round with a straight sets win over Frenchman Florent Serra on Friday.

The 22-year-old equalled his best performance here with the 7-5, 6-1, 6-4 win, and has not dropped a set in three matches as he takes aim at a maiden Grand Slam title.

The fifth seed will face another Frenchman, Gael Monfils, or giant American John Isner in the next round, with a potential quarter-final looming against defending champion and world number two Rafael Nadal.

But Murray, the 2009 US Open runner-up, has no reason to fear any player based on the form he has shown and he played some of the shots of the tournament against Serra.

The Frenchman, who won a five-setter against Jarkko Nieminen in the second round, came out aggressively in the first set and traded groundstrokes with the Scot.

Murray got an early break to race to a 3-0 lead, but Serra soon fought back to level the set.

The pair both played some fantastic passing shots, until Murray made what appeared to be a pivotal break in the eighth game on the back of three brilliant passing shots.

However, Murray was broken to love as he attempted to serve for the set.

The Scot broke straight back again and made no mistake the second time he served, another big forehand securing the set.

Serra was unable to regroup and Murray dominated the remainder of the match, unveiling his full repertoire of shots, thumping down 14 aces and hitting 49 winners.

Two shots -- the first a running forehand pass in the first set and the second an audacious backhand chip in the third set -- were as good as any played so far.

Murray's charge towards victory was temporarily stalled during the third set when Serra reluctantly had a scrape on his arm attended to.

The Scot's growing confidence was displayed when he passed the time by balancing his racquet on the end of his finger to entertain the crowd.