Melbourne - British fourth seed Andy Murray defeated Spain's Feliciano Lopez in
straight sets to reach the fourth round at the Australian Open on
Murray, a three-time finalist in Melbourne, won 7-6 (7/2), 6-4, 6-2 in two hours 15 minutes on Hisense Arena.
It continued Murray's dominance of the left-hander as he stretched his winning sequence to 8-0 over Lopez in their matches.
Scot, who has lost twice to Novak Djokovic and once to Roger Federer in
Australian finals, will now face French lucky loser Stephane Robert in
the round of 16.
Once Murray won the opening set tiebreaker in 65
minutes it was all one way as the Wimbledon champion broke Lopez's serve
a total of four times to wrap up a convincing victory.
Murray was totally on top of his game with his unforced errors edging out his number of winners 30-29.
who had back surgery in September, briefly appeared in pain early in
the first set, but through the match he moved unhindered to progress
through to the last 16.
The Scot missed the rest of last season after his surgery and his preparations for Melbourne were not encouraging.
world number four crashed out in the second round of the Qatar Open to
German Florian Mayer, the world number 38, and then went down to veteran
Australian Lleyton Hewitt in an exhibition match.
But during the
Australian Open, he said it was the best he had felt on court for 18
months with the long-standing back injury completely healed.