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Page last updated at 20:35 GMT, Thursday, 25 June 2009 21:35 UK

Masterful Murray crushes Gulbis

WIMBLEDON
Date: 22 June - 5 July
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Andy Murray

Highlights - Classy Murray dispatches Gulbis

By Caroline Cheese
BBC Sport at Wimbledon

Britain's Andy Murray showed off his myriad talents to the Centre Court crowd with a classy win over Ernests Gulbis in Wimbledon's second round.

The world number three triumphed 6-2 7-5 6-3 in one hour and 28 minutes.

Murray faced break points in his first service game but was never troubled again in a dominant serving display.

The 22-year-old, the last Briton left in the singles, made just five unforced errors as he booked a third-round meeting with Serbia's Viktor Troicki.

Murray played well within himself in his opening win over Robert Kendrick, but he laid down a marker with a consummate display against the unpredictable Gulbis.

"I played a lot better than the first match," Murray told BBC Sport.

606: DEBATE
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"After the first couple of games, I relaxed. I served great and didn't give him many opportunities at all."

With Murray relaxed and in control, a capacity crowd was also able to sit back and enjoy the unique skills of Britain's number one - and now only remaining competitor in the singles at Wimbledon.

"The atmosphere was very good," said Murray.

"I think on the big points, the crowd got right behind me and when I had break points, they got noisier. When I needed the support, it was always there."

Gulbis defeated Tim Henman on his Grand Slam debut at the 2007 French Open and broke into the world's top 50 that same year.

Now 20, the Latvian's reputation remains as an unfulfilled talent, and while he showed flashes of promise against Murray, he never looked likely to threaten the world number three.

A ferocious forehand return at 1-0 in the first set gave him two break points - the only ones he would earn in the entire match.

But Murray, in what would become a theme for the match, delivered three big first serves to move to game point before polishing it off with the first of 11 aces.

Murray happy with improving serve

Gulbis's dangerous obsession with the drop shot was another feature of the encounter, and he put one into the net to give Murray his first break point at 3-2 in the first set.

The Latvian gifted the break to his opponent with a clumsy backhand volley into the net.

Murray broke a second time and a run of 15 straight points on serve helped him wrap up a near-perfect first set in 25 minutes.

The second set was tighter, but Gulbis was still unable to make any headway against the Murray serve.

The Briton, almost inevitably, stepped it up at 5-5, his greater variety and cunning from the back of the court forcing Gulbis into a clutch of costly errors.

The unseeded Latvian saved one break point at the start of the third set, but he could not repeat the trick at 1-1, Murray whipping a backhand pass cross-court to press home his advantage.

Another break of serve meant Murray could take his leave of Centre Court in less than an hour and a half, and his statistics will make for happy post-match reading.

He didn't miss a ball and took his chances. If he plays like that he's one of the favourites for sure

Ernests Gulbis

As well as the paltry five errors, the British number one landed 73% of his first serves, and returned just as impressively against a big-serving opponent.

And Gulbis was quick to praise Murray's performance.

"Andy played an unbelievable match. He served unbelievably with something like 70% of first serves in," he said.

"He played really smart tennis, he sliced to my backhand a lot and I didn't know how to change the rhythm of the game.

"On my serve it was always a tight game but on his serve I didn't have a chance. Overall he made five unforced errors - if someone does that you have to hit so many winners to beat him.

"He didn't miss a ball and took his chances. If he plays like that he's one of the favourites for sure."



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see also
Wimbledon day four as it happened
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John McEnroe on Andy Murray
25 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Murray v Gulbis as it happened
25 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Baltacha bid ends in heavy defeat
25 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Crisis - what crisis?
25 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Hewitt stuns fifth seed Del Potro
25 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Slick Venus eases past Bondarenko
25 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Murray stays cool to win opener
23 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Order of play
23 May 09 |  Tennis
Results
26 Jun 07 |  Results
Women's singles results
26 Jun 07 |  Results
Wimbledon: Live map
22 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Men's singles draw
26 Aug 11 |  Tennis
Women's singles draw
28 Jan 10 |  Tennis


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