Andy Murray's Melbourne march continues
Andy Murray is still yet to drop a set in the Australian Open after he quickly saw off Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-1 6-1 6-2 to reach the fourth round in style on Saturday.
It was the Scot's most impressive of his three tournament victories on the scoreboard, which showed just four games dropped, and the on-court action reflected that statistic as Murray outclassed the Spaniard in every department.
Garcia-Lopez started brightly, playing the shot of the match to win just the second point of the first game with a 'tweener' winner down the line. He won the next point to go 40-0 up as he looked to hold serve and get on the board but that was perhaps as good as it got for Garcia-Lopez, as Murray fought back to deuce with some impressive court-coverage and then secured the break.
Murray dropped a service game to let his opponent back to 3-1 but outside of that lapse, the rest of the set and indeed the match was all his. At one point in the second set Garcia-Lopez smacked a ball out of the enormous Rod Laver Arena out of frustration at losing yet another service game but even that did not go right for the world No.32 as the ball bounced on top of the roof once and fell right back into the court.
Murray continued the aggressive tennis he has shown in this tournament as part of a ploy to finish matches quickly in these early rounds. He served well, hit 24 winners and in particular jumped all over Garcia-Lopez's second serve, winning 79% of points there on his way to eight service breaks.
Murray said in his on-court interview that his steamroller-like progression to the fourth round has been down to his improved focus, although a minor gaffe indicated his concentration was not as sharp as he said it was.
"I did play very well in every match," he said. "It is very hard to concentrate in this heat for long periods but I've done that and that's why I've been able to win in straight sets. But it's been a lot easier than the scorelines suggest. Whoops, I mean it's harder than the scoreline suggests!"
With either Jurgen Melzer (11) or Marcos Baghdatis (21) to meet Murray in the next round, a tougher encounter seems likely, but the world No.5 continued to show the sort of form here in the scorching Melbourne heat that could take him towards a repeat of last year's final appearance.