Andy Murray hails improving serve after reaching 3rd round

British No1's 6-1 6-3 6-3 victory over Illya Marchenko sets up third-round match with Garcia-Lopez

Kieran Beckles
By Kieran Beckles
andy murray
Andy Murray - through to third round in Melbourne (Photo: Mirsasha)

andy murray

Andy Murray highlighted his consistent serving as a key factor in a straightforward second-round victory over Illya Marchenko at the Australian Open on Thursday.

The British No1 disposed of his Ukrainian opponent in straight sets 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 in the early hours of Thursday morning. He took just under two hours to secure his place in the third round, where he will meet Spain’s Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.

Murray raced into the lead in the first set, not dropping a game until Marchenko finally managed to hold serve to momentarily halt the rampaging Scot at 5-1. It was a brief reprieve for the Ukrainian as Murray secured the opening set with a rasping ace.

The 23-year-old Scot hit an encouraging 16 aces, allowing the him to assert his dominance on the match. “I got a lot of free points on the first serve, which is important because from pretty much the first game he was swinging quite big on first-serve returns and the second serve,” said Murray afterwards.

“I think once it got close, he started to miss more, because I didn’t feel like I hit my second serve badly. The ball was bouncing so high, he was really trying to take them on. It was important to get free points off the serve.”

Despite having dropped the opening service game of the second set and then surrendering a break-point in the second game, the world No5 hit back and served imperiously throughout.

Both players were at times frustrated by bad calls from the umpire and line judges with the Margaret Court Arena, an outside court, not blessed with Hawk-Eye technology.

Once Murray clinched a two-set lead the result was inevitable, and he efficiently sealed the third, 6-3.

“There were parts of the match that were tight,” said Murray. “Obviously the beginning of the second he started well. I was a little bit tentative.

“But I played well. There were a lot of close games, a lot of 30-all games, deuce games, but I served well when I needed to really. That was the difference.”

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