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Page last updated at 15:11 GMT, Tuesday, 22 April 2008 16:11 UK

Murray win sets up Djokovic clash

Andy Murray
Murray's win made it two in a row on clay for the first time as a pro

British number one Andy Murray beat Filippo Volandri 6-4 6-1 to set up a third-round clash with third seed Novak Djokovic at the Monte Carlo Masters.

The Scot struggled for consistency on the Monaco clay, mixing blistering winners with sloppy errors but a break in game 10 secured the first set.

Murray took advantage with two breaks in the second set as Volandri's game fell apart, particularly his backhand.

The 20-year-old eased through but will have to do better against Djokovic.

Murray, the 14th seed, will still draw plenty of encouragement from his second successive win on clay - the first time he has achieved that in his professional career.

He and clay-court coach Alex Corretja will have been happy with his ability to fashion winners from virtually all areas of the court with a combination of fierce forehands, deft volleys and drop-shots.

606: DEBATE
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Indeed, the knowledge that he had too much power and variety in his strokes perhaps explained his rush to finish points off.

World number 42 Volandri famously beat Roger Federer on clay in Rome last year, but he was soon 0-40 down on his own serve in game six and a wayward backhand gave Murray the break.

Volandri responded in style, with a delightful backhand volley and powerful forehand, and when Murray netted a forehand he had an instant break back.

Murray was always capable of stepping up a gear and a fantastic forehand pass was followed by two mistakes from Volandri to settle the first set.

The second was an error-strewn affair and while Murray was guilty of frequently firing off-target, it was nothing compared with the meltdown Volandri suffered.

Novak is number one in the ATP race and won the first Grand Slam of the year, so it's going to be tough

Murray on facing Djokovic

Murray took full advantage with a strategy of keeping the ball in court as much as possible, something Corretja has been trying to instil.

Two successive breaks to love handed the Briton total control and some big serving finished off the match.

Murray's last encounter with the Italian - in Hamburg last year - prematurely ended in agony, a wrist injury ruling him out for three months.

This time he can look forward to facing friend Djokovic, who eased past Ivan Ljubicic 6-3 6-3 in their second-round encounter.

"It was very tight, much tighter than the scoreline would suggest," Murray said.

"The key was to be patient. I had to adapt my game a little bit and probably made him come to the net quite a few times, with short slices and drop shots."

"Novak is number one in the ATP race and won the first Grand Slam of the year, so it's going to be tough."

Top seed Federer opens his campaign on Wednesday against Spanish qualifier Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo while triple champion Rafael Nadal, the second seed, faces Croatia's Mario Ancic.

• Murray's brother Jamie and Max Mirnyi were beaten 6-3 6-3 by Marcin Matkowski and Mariusz Fyrstenbergin in their opening doubles match at the tournament.


see also
Murray 'can be clay-court star'
21 Apr 08 |  Tennis
Murray v Lopez as it happened
21 Apr 08 |  Tennis
Murray up one place in rankings
14 Apr 08 |  Tennis
Murray will compete at Olympics
08 Apr 08 |  Tennis


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