Murray eases past Nieminen
July 31, 2012 15:25 pm
Andy Murray raced into the third round of the men's singles at the Olympic tennis tournament with a dominant 6-2 6-4 victory over Finland's Jarkko Nieminen under the roof on Centre Court.
The third seed, who will also play mixed doubles with Laura Robson here, looked in fine fettle and next faces a rematch with Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis, who he beat in the third round of Wimbledon.
Murray and Nieminen know each other well having met four times previously, most recently in the second round of the French Open earlier this summer, while they also played at Wimbledon two years ago in a match watched by the Queen. The Scot won all those meetings, although he had to struggle through a back spasm to come through their Roland Garros clash.
No such dramas were expected, with Nieminen having won only one match since that encounter and Murray fit and in great form, and the home favourite raced out of the blocks.
Not helped by a foot fault, Nieminen dropped serve in the opening game, and Murray was firmly in control of the first set when he broke again to lead 4-1.
The third seed was hitting the ball extremely cleanly and, after saving two break points in fine style, he confidently served out the set.
Murray, who has made no secret of his desire to make amends for his first-round exit in Beijing, then made the best possible start to the second set with another break. The were plenty of British flags in a big but not entirely full crowd and a decent level of noise, but Murray was simply having too easy a time of it to generate an electric atmosphere.
The 25-year-old was frustrated to miss two more chances to break in the seventh game but he was serving just as well as he had in his first-round win over Stanislas Wawrinka and Nieminen was not getting a look-in.
The Finn was left sprawled on the grass as Murray put away another winner to bring up his first match point, and Nieminen raised his fist in celebration when he saved it with an ace.
The 31-year-old ended up in the stands as he tried to prevent Murray serving out the match, but it was in vain as the British number one clinched victory with an ace after 61 minutes.
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