Murray and Federer sizzle under Miami sun

Sun Mar 23, 2014 5:36pm EDT
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By Steve Keating

MIAMI (Reuters) - Defending champion Andy Murray and 17-times grand slam winner Roger Federer sizzled under a Miami sun, speeding into the fourth round of the Sony Open on Sunday with convincing straight sets wins.

Federer, twice a winner on the Miami hardcourts, needed just 62 minutes on a sweltering center court to dispose of Dutch qualifier Thiemo De Bakker 6-3 6-3 while Murray appeared to be adjusting just fine to life without coach Ivan Lendl, easing past Spain's Feliciano Lopez 6-4 6-1.

After getting the defense of his Sony Open title off to a shaky start with a three-sets win over Matthew Ebden on Friday, Wimbledon champion Murray was more in command against Lopez improving his record to 9-0 against the Spaniard in just 73 minutes.

"It's not always that easy to feel comfortable against him because there is not loads of rhythm with the way he plays," said the sixth seeded Scotsman. "But I moved well; returned well.

"It was obviously a more comfortable score line than the other day."

Murray has been in the Miami spotlight for more than his play this week after announcing he had ended his successful partnership with Lendl, who helped steer him to a pair of grand slam titles and an Olympic gold medal.

Lendl, who maintains a Florida residence, was in the stand catching some of the Sunday match, leading Murray to joke that the two men were renewing their partnership.

Seven of Murray's previous eight matches had gone three sets but the Briton, who has a Miami residence, made sure he would spend as little time as possible under a punishing sun, breaking Lopez three times in the second set, sweeping the last four games.   Continued...

Mar 23, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Andy Murray waves to the crowd after his match against Feliciano Lopez (not pictured) on day seven of the Sony Open at Crandon Tennis Center. Murray won 6-4, 6-1. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports