Andy Murray thrashes Sousa to reach Melbourne's third round
Scot displays 'new taste for blood' as he delivers quick straight sets win in 39C heat
SCORCHING 39C heat failed to put a brake on Andy Murray’s impressive form today as he "brushed aside" Joao Sousa in straight sets to reach the third round of the Australian Open.
The Scot simply outclassed the Portuguese, who is ranked 100 in the world, wrapping up the match 6-2, 6-2, 6-4. The rapid win – in an hour and 41 minutes – was achieved with some "smart heatwave tennis" that conserved Murray’s energy and wrapped the game up quickly, says The Guardian.
As a result, the world No. 3 goes into his third round match against Lithuanian qualifier Ricardas Berankis with "his serve, body and spirits all in good working order".
The Daily Telegraph’s Simon Briggs says the match was not one of the week’s "most memorable encounters" and Sousa looked "a little overawed". But Murray is displaying a "new taste for blood" in the way he dispatches his opponents so quickly.
The game underlined the Scot’s physical and mental readiness and suggests the Bikram yoga classes (an extreme form of the discipline performed in 42C heat) he took to prepare for the Melbourne contest are paying off.
Murray used both his serve and forehand to "bully" Sousa, says Briggs, clocking up 14 aces in all.
Writing in The Independent, Paul Newman says Murray had Sousa "on the back foot" from the first shot and clearly had no intention of "hanging around" as temperatures hit 39C at Melbourne's Hisense Arena. Sousa was "outclassed in every department" and the result was never in doubt.
Murray’s next opponent, the 22-year-old Berankis, is ranked 110 in the world, but is in "excellent form", warns Newman. The threat was acknowledged by Murray today when he described the Lithuanian’s "aggressive" style and powerful, flat ground strokes. "He hits the ball pretty big from the back of the court," Murray said.