Andy Murray races into the Australian Open second round
AUSTRALIAN OPEN Venue: Melbourne Park Date: 18-31 January BBC coverage:
Every Murray match live on BBC 1 or 2 Daily from 0830 GMT: live on BBC Red Button/website, 5 Live sports extra Daily from 0000 GMT: text commentary on BBC Sport website
Video replay - Murray v Anderson
By Chris Bevan
Britain's Andy Murray was in convincing form as he dispatched South African qualifier Kevin Anderson 6-1 6-1 6-2 in the first round of the Australian Open.
Murray will face far greater tests in the next fortnight than the 6ft 8in Anderson, ranked 147th in the world.
But, aside from a low first serve count, the fifth seed hardly put a foot wrong as he exposed his opponent's limitations to win in 100 minutes.
He will face France's Marc Gicquel or Italy's Simone Bolelli in round two.
That match fell victim to the persistent rain which fell on day one of the opening Grand Slam of the year and will be played on Tuesday.
The bad weather meant Murray began his campaign under the roof of Rod Laver Arena, a factor which played into the hands of the world number five, who appeared to cope with the indoor conditions better.
It was a tough first round for me. I was a little bit nervous at the start
"It was a little bit weird playing under the roof here but I enjoyed it," Murray said afterwards. "It was a good atmosphere.
"Kevin did not drop his serve all the way through qualifying and, with his height, it is obviously a weapon.
"It was a tough first round for me. I was a little bit nervous at the start but I broke him straight away which was important."
Murray, 22, is looking to go beyond the fourth round in Melbourne for the first time in his career, but the Scot is only focused on his next challenge for now.
"They're both good players. Gicquel I played once before. He's a tough player, a lot of experience, pretty quick," said Murray.
"Bolelli is very talented. Can hit the ball huge from the back of the court. But I played really well against him the last couple times. I don't know, I expect a pretty close match."
At times on Monday, it felt like Murray was playing an exhibition match, with Anderson seeming nervous on the big stage and unable even to get his own serve - usually his biggest weapon - to work with any fluency.
In contrast, the Scot was the model of coolness and used the occasion to demonstrate the strength of most aspects of his game.
From the start, when he dropped just one point while picking up the first three games, Murray assumed a position of control and never looked like surrendering it as he hoovered up point after point.
Murray prefers brunettes
Only his first serve, so often an Achilles heel in the past, was a weakness, with a success rate of only 35% demonstrating that there is still work to be done if he is to break his Grand Slam duck in Melbourne this month.
Not that it mattered much on this occasion. Anderson lacked penetration with his groundstrokes and was sluggish around the court, meaning he was unable to take advantage of even the most inviting of Murray's deliveries.
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