Murray gets it done

19 January 2013 / 07:34

Olympic gold medallist Andy Murray's Australian Open challenge remained on track as the Scottish tennis star recorded a straight sets victory over Ricardas Berankis.

The US Open champion is hoping to become the first man in the Open era to follow up his maiden grand slam tournament victory by winning the next major as well.

And he improved as the match went on in Melbourne to progress through to the fourth round 6-3 6-4 7-5 in two hours and 12 minutes. He will next meet the winner of the all-French clash between Gilles Simon and Gael Monfils.

Lithuanian qualifier Berankis displayed the kind of shot-making ability which should stand him in good stead as he seeks a way back into the top 100 following a serious groin injury but Murray's greater know-how when it really mattered proved the difference.

Berankis made a sloppy start, four consecutive forehand errors gifting Murray an early break which he converted into a 3-1 lead. Murray then fought off four break points as Berankis found his range.

The Scot broke again for 5-1 but could not serve out the set. The world number 110 was warming to his task and he again asked the question of Murray having held for 3-5, however Murray staved off two more break points to take the first set.

Murray was holding firm on serve at the start of the second but that changed at 2-3 when Berankis claimed a two-game lead only for him to promptly throw it away with an error-strewn game. Murray threatened again at 4-4 and with Berankis wobbling, he broke at the fourth opportunity.

Then a wide forehand from the 22-year-old from Vilnius handed Murray his fourth successive game and a two-set lead.

The Olympic champion was slowly starting to look like one of the title contenders and he kept his foot on the gas by breaking for 2-1 in the third. He had to withstand a minor scare when Berankis had a break point in the fifth game but he held on to preserve his advantage.

But, serving for the match, Murray was broken, although the Scot displayed his fighting spirit to break back straight away. And there was no mistake at 6-5 as he got the job done to move into the second week.