Murray disarms Groth with masterly display

Thu Jan 21, 2016 4:06am EST
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By Greg Stutchbury

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - World number two Andy Murray used his full repertoire of clever passing shots and teasing lobs to disarm the world's fastest server, Sam Groth, and swiftly book a spot in the Australian Open third round on Thursday.

Murray, a four-times runner-up at Melbourne Park, likes nothing more than fending off the heavy hitters and had too much craft for Groth as he won the first nine games on the way to a straightforward 6-0 6-4 6-1 victory.

Groth was making his first ever appearance on Rod Laver Arena, and it showed as he was taken to the cleaners.

"He didn't start the match off serving that well, which helped," Murray told reporters after his 91-minute victory.

"Because I was returning well, that maybe put some more pressure on him.

"I tend to enjoy playing against that game style. Always did since I was a kid."

Groth began the match having blasted 27 aces and the fastest serve recorded at the tournament so far at 235 kph in his first round victory against Adrian Mannarino.

Against Murray his first ace did not arrive until the second game of the second set, by which time he was already reeling from a slow start punished by the 28-year-old Scot.   Continued...

Britain's Andy Murray serves during his second round match against Australia's Sam Groth at the Australian Open tennis tournament at Melbourne Park, Australia, January 21, 2016. REUTERS/Jason O'Brien