Andy Murray and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga both enjoyed energy-conserving straight-set wins at the Australian Open today.
With temperatures exceeding 100F in Melbourne, getting the job done quickly was the order of the day and Murray and Tsonga were clinical in dispatching Joao Sousa and Go Soeda, respectively.
World number three Murray was rarely troubled by the Portuguese, winning 6-2 6-2 6-4 in one hour and 41 minutes, while Tsonga spent 22 minutes more in seeing off Japanese Soeda 6-3 7-6 (7/1) 6-3 as both progressed through to the third round.
US Open champion Murray said: “It doesn’t matter how much training you do, it’s tough in these conditions.
“It’s extremely hot, especially when the sun comes through the clouds. It’s good to get it done in three sets.
“The longer the rallies go the tougher it becomes on the legs. You need to get in control of the points and dictate them because otherwise you will get very tired very quickly.”
The match itself was a no-contest, the outcome never in doubt with Sousa’s game simply not big enough to cause Murray any significant problems.
Next up for the Scot is a meeting with resurgent Lithuanian Ricardas Berankis, who beat 25th seed Florian Mayer for the loss of just six games.
“I have practised with Berankis a lot,” said Murray. “He is a very hard worker, he has had a couple of injuries over the last couple of years and it will be tough.”
Although pleased with the win, seventh seed Tsonga was not pleased by the manner in which he achieved it.
“I didn’t play a good match,” complained the Frenchman. “I didn’t have the right attitude in this match. Hopefully I will be better in the next one and try to play my game more than I did today.”
Tsonga will play Blaz Kavkic in round three after the Slovenian came through a five-set struggle with wild card James Duckworth.
There was relief for Australian fans still reeling from Sam Stosur’s exit from the women’s singles yesterday as Bernard Tomic hit back to beat Daniel Brands.
German qualifier Brands claimed the first set but Tomic overcame some nervy moments to progress 6-7 (4/7) 7-5 7-6 (7/3) 7-6 (10/8).
Milos Raonic, seeded 13, and 17th seed Philipp Kohlschreiber will meet in the last 32 after straight-set wins today.
Raonic beat Lukas Rosol while Kohlschreiber was too strong for Amir Weintraub.