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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 February 2007, 06:22 GMT
Murray cruises into second round
Andy Murray on his way to beating Kevin Kim
Murray is competing in his first event since the Australian Open
Andy Murray booked his place in the second round of the San Jose Open with a comfortable 6-3 6-1 victory over America's Kevin Kim.

The defending champion had little trouble winning the first set and cruised in the second after breaking Kim in the opening game.

The British number one, 19, broke again in the third game and will now take on Kristian Pless in the second round.

Russian Marat Safin is also through after beating Scott Oudsema 6-4 7-6.

Third seed Murray, who has been out with a foot blister since losing to Rafael Nadal in the fourth round of the Australian Open, could potentially meet top seed Andy Roddick in the semi-finals.

Right now we're thinking how to get into single digits in the rankings

Andy Murray's coach Brad Gilbert

The Scot, at a career-best 13th in the world, hit his fastest ever serve of 145mph against Kim and recorded 11 aces as his off-season strengthening programme paid dividends.

"My serve-and-volley game is much stronger," said Murray. "I hadn't been hitting the ball that well in practice because I'd been doing a lot of fitness work, but I think I played well.

"The court was probably 40% faster than last year, which I wasn't expecting.

606 DEBATE: Your reaction to Murray's victory

"I'd probably like it a little bit slower, but I play pretty well indoors and I get a bit more on my serve, so that's good."

Murray's coach Brad Gilbert added: "Right now we're thinking how to get into single digits in the rankings. All I know is Andy is getting better."

Safin, the former world number one, chasing his first title in more than two years, was in control from the moment he broke the American in the third game.

Oudsema fired 17 aces and did produce a late rally but it was not enough and Safin will now meet Yen-Hsun Lu of Taipei.

Pless advanced after beating Ukrainian qualifier Sergiy Stakhovsky 7-5 6-1.

In other action, there were wins for seventh seed Lee Hyung-taik of Korea and eighth-seeded American Vince Spadea.

Lee beat American Phillip King 7-6 6-3 while Spadea, at 32 the oldest player in the draw, eased past Danai Udomchoke of Thailand 6-3 6-4.

German Bjorn Phau crushed Konstantinos Economidis of Greece 6-2 6-3 in the day's other match.



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