Andy Murray's new approach pays off as he crushes Haase

Jan 15, 2013

Murray cruises into second round and Laura Robson also impresses at Australian Open

ANDY MURRAY made short work of Dutch opponent Robin Haase in the first round of the Australian Open as he began his quest for a second successive Grand Slam title with an emphatic straight sets victory in Melbourne.

The Scot saw off Haase 6-3 6-1 6-3 in just over 90 minutes and there was evidence of a new approach from Murray, who has said he wants to simplify his game.

Haase, the world number 53, took Murray to five sets at the US Open in 2011, but this time Murray did not give him a sniff, attacking the Dutchman from the off.

"He did play a few drop shots for tactical reasons, but generally this was route-one tennis," said the Daily Telegraph. "Crunching groundstrokes into the corners, making Haase perform shuttle runs along the baseline until he lost the will to fight any more."

The Times called it "a performance full of powerful control, clinical execution and command of his position on the court".

It illustrated why Murray has taken his place among the sport's elite said The Guardian. He and Haase are the same age and the same height. "[But] Murray outweighs Haase by a stone, all of it pure power, and that is one reason the Scot resides on a different part of Planet Tennis: in many of his matches he is a lion among lambs."

The British number one faces Joao Sousa of Portugal in the second round, an opponent ranked even lower than Haase.

Also into the second round, for the first time in her career, is Laura Robson. She looked strong as she crushed Melanie Oudin 6-2, 6-3 in 75 minutes. Last year the 18-year-old Briton beat Kim Clijsters and Li Na at the US Open and she now faces another tough game against Petra Kvitova, the 2011 Wimbledon champion.

The BBC describes the clash with Kvitova as "a fascinating match-up against a fellow left-hander to whom many have compared Robson".

Murray and Robson join Heather Watson in the second round after she battled back from a set and a break down to beat Romania's Alexandra Cadantu on Monday.

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