Andy Murray today sauntered through the second round of the Australian Open with a comprehensive thrashing of Edouard Roger-Vasselin. Murray lubricated the Frenchman's departure from the tournament 6-1 6-4 6-4, to set up a third-round clash with his compatriot, Michael Llodra.
In truth, the scoreline flattered Roger-Vasselin, with Murray dominant in every area of the court. At 5-0 in the first set, a whitewash looked likely, but the Frenchman dutifully turned the bagel into a baguette with some uninhibited tennis.
Murray will look back on this match as nothing more than a useful loosener, with the 28-year-old's friendly shot placement even ensuring the world number four stayed in the cooling shadow of the Hisense Arena.
As the second set wore on, it was clear that being kept in the shade was figurative rather than literal for Murray and, when he broke at 4-3, it was on the back of a 70% first-serve success rate and an expansive return game that turned Roger-Vasselin into petroleum jelly.Read more (193 words)
With the third set unwinding in a similar pattern to the second, the most impressive factor for the Scot was his discipline. Murray chased every ball, even when they eventually landed in an adjacent postcode, and seemed keen to give each aspect of his game a workout, with frequent sorties to the forecourt.
The Frenchman, whose father once reached the semi-finals at Roland Garros, looked neat in patches, but his three-quarter-length groundshots couldn't trouble Murray often enough to gain a foothold in the match.
Murray said, "I served well. I didn't give him too many opportunities on my serve, which was important as he played well in the second and third set."
The Scot did concede, however, that the tricky left-hander Llodra could offer sterner opposition, saying: "The next round is tough – he's got a lot of flair, so it'll be a good match."
Today's victory brings Murray's success rate against Frenchmen to 37 out of 38 matches, a sequence that he can extend in the next round and then, potentially, against Monfils and Tsonga. With such credentials, the Scot might find himself whisked off to the next euro summit by David Cameron.