Photo: Eisele/Giubilo/ZimmerAndy Murray (GBR)
LONDON, GREAT BRITAIN: Andy Murray is safely through to the men's singles third round at the Olympic Tennis Event after a straight forward 62 64 victory over Jarkko Nieminen under the Centre Court roof on Tuesday.
From the moment Murray broke the Finn’s serve in the opening game of the match, he was always in control and never once let his foot off the gas. The British No. 1 followed up with a further break at 3-1 and went on to wrap up the first set 6-2 in just 26 minutes.
The second set followed a similar pattern as Murray raced out of the blocks to break Nieminen in the opening game. The left-hander gallantly kept holding his serve, including saving a match point with an ace at 5-3, but he was only stalling for time.
Murray sealed the deal in the next game with an ace out wide at 40-15, taking the second set 6-4 in 35 minutes, and with it the match. The Scot’s baseline play was majestic as he pushed and pulled Nieminen around the court, the gulf in class clearly evident.
"I played well today," said Murray "He didn't start the match that well. Then he definitely played better in the second set. I had the momentum for most of the match. I served well, especially in the second set, didn't give him really many opportunities.
"Once I got up a break in the second, it was important to stay focused because I was getting a lot of free points from my serve and I needed to try to keep that up, and I did a good job," he added.
The No. 3 seed advances to meet the charismatic Marcos Baghdatis in the last 16. The two players met a few weeks ago at Wimbledon in a late night thriller that finished just after 11pm with the roof closed on Centre Court.
Murray won that battle in four sets, but it was touch and go at times as Baghdatis, a former Australian Open finalist, produced some inspired tennis to make the eventual Wimbledon runner-up work hard for his victory.
Baghdatis, who carried the flag for Cyprus in the opening ceremony on Friday night, defeated Frenchman Richard Gasquet 64 64 in his second round match on Tuesday.
"I had a tough match with him (Baghdatis) at Wimbledon a few weeks ago," said Murray. "Certainly won't be taking anything for granted there. It's going to be a very, very tough match. He's a very, very good grass court player. I'll need to play very well to win that."
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