Murray sizzles in Open win

2013-01-17 07:21

Melbourne - Andy Murray has played in tougher conditions but he was glad he made short work of reaching the Australian Open's third round on a sweltering day on Thursday.

The British third seed and reigning US Open champion conceded just eight games in putting away 100th-ranked Portuguese Joao Sousa, 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 in 1hr 41min on Hisense Arena.

Murray, a twice runner-up at the Australian Open, has his hitting partner, Lithuanian qualifier Ricardas Berankis, as his next opponent in the last 32.

"It wasn't that bad on the court. When the sun came out it was extremely hot. There was little humidity," Murray said, as ambient temperatures hovered around 41 degrees Celsius (106 Fahrenheit).

"When you get the combination of the heat and the humidity is when it's normally at its worst. I've played in worse conditions, but it's still very hot."

Murray, who trains in Miami to condition for the heat of the Australian Open, was too hot to handle, breaking Sousa's service five times without facing a break point.

"I got up a couple of breaks pretty quickly in the first two sets so I could try to shorten the points, which helped," he said.

"I also served well too. I got a lot of free points on my serve and there were very few long rallies which worked out well for me."

Murray controlled the match and had two service breaks to wrap up the opening set in 31 minutes.

He quickly reinforced that with further breaks in Sousa's opening two service games in the second set, which he clinched with a forehand winner.

There was little Sousa could do and he was broken again at the start of the final set as Murray coasted to victory.

It was Murray's sixth consecutive match victory this season after he beat Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov to win his 25th career title at the Brisbane International.

Murray is familiar with his next opponent, Berankis, having regularly practised with him.

"I've actually hit with him a lot. I trained with him before the Australian Open last year," Murray said.

"I practised with him in Brisbane this year and I practised with him a couple times before the tournament here.

"He's won five matches and he hits the ball pretty big from the back of the court. He plays aggressive and he's a very flat hitter of the ball."