Murray avoids Djokovic fate to reach fourth round

Fri Jan 20, 2017 4:34am EST
 
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By Ian Ransom

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - With Novak Djokovic's reign broken, Andy Murray boosted his claim to the Melbourne Park throne with a comprehensive 6-4 6-2 6-4 win over American Sam Querrey to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open on Friday.

Top seed Murray, beaten in four of his five finals in Melbourne by Djokovic, has become raging favorite after the Serb's stunning second round exit on Thursday and the Briton lived up to the billing by trouncing Querrey in a tick under two hours at the Hisense Arena.

Murray was among the many surprised by Djokovic's elimination but was neither dancing on the Serb's grave nor talking up his own hopes of a maiden title in Melbourne.

"It doesn't change anything unless I was to potentially reach the final, because I can't play Novak in the fourth round or in the third round," Murray told reporters after setting up a clash with unseeded German Mischa Zverev.

"I don't worry about that, really. Obviously, if you're to get to the final, then it has an effect. A lot of the times when I've been in the final here, I've played against him. Had some tough ones."

Djokovic's departure aside, Murray appeared free of another bugbear, showing no discomfort on the right ankle he twisted in his previous win against Russian teenager Andrey Rublev.

Although he cruised through the first two sets, the ankle was given a good work-out in the third by the desperate Querrey who dumped Djokovic out of Wimbledon at the same stage last year.

Querrey relied on his huge serve to get him out of myriad jams against Djokovic in that upset but his main weapon misfired for much of the Murray match on a cool, breezy afternoon.   Continued...

 
Tennis - Australian Open - Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia - 20/1/17 Britain's Andy Murray hits a shot during his Men's singles third round match against Sam Querrey of the U.S. .REUTERS/Thomas Peter