Andy Murray marched into the third round of the Australian Open with a straight sets win over Frenchman Marc Gicquel today.
The Scot took just under two hours to overcome his 57th-ranked opponent 6-1 6-4 6-3 on Margaret Court arena.
Murray had raced through the opening set in quick time, however, his progress was slowed by some inconsistent serving in the final two sets.
While he was broken just once in the match Murray was taken to deuce in four of six service games in the middle part of the match.
But when it counted, the fifth seed found the first serve to fend off Gicquel’s challenge and ensure his place in the third round where he will meet another Frenchman, the 64th-ranked Florent Serra.
Murray cruised through his first match against Kevin Anderson on Monday when he lost just four games and another routine win loomed when he cinched the first set in 23 minutes.
The Scot raced into a 5-0 lead as he mixed solid groundstrokes with deft touch, highlighted by an expertly disguised drop shot from the back of the court.
Gicquel held for the first time to get on the scoreboard, but it was elementary as Murray served out the set with an ace down the middle.
Murray’s ability to get an early break of serve has marked his play since arriving in Australia earlier this month and he did it again in the opening game of the set.
The only concern for the Scot was again his inability to consistently get his first serve into play as he operated at under 50% for the second consecutive match.
It started to hinder him as four of his next six service games went to deuce, but tellingly he did not allow a single break point in that time.
Murray showed his star quality in the sixth game when from love-40 behind he rediscovered his first serve at the right time landing five of his next six to fend off the trouble before taking the set.
Gicquel was broken early again in the third set but his doggedness was finally rewarded with a break as the match started to find some life outside Murray’s dominance.
Gicquel added further spice with an animated show of petulance to the chair umpire after a line call incorrectly went against him, and it proved costly as he gave up the decisive break before Murray wrapped up the match with his third match point.