Murray rushes to finish line to beat Australian Open heat

Jan 16, 2014

Wimbledon Champion reels off 23 straight points to see off French challenger Millot

ANDY MURRAY made it into the third round of the Australian Open with another convincing performance in Melbourne, briefly marred by a third set blip, on a day when play was finally suspended because of the intense heat.

Murray beat French opponent Vincent Millot, ranked 267 in the world, 6-2 6-2 7-5 in a little over two hours in the final match of a day when temperatures once again rose above 40C and the organisers implemented the Extreme Heat Policy, suspending play just before 2pm and closing the roofs of the show courts to allow air conditioning to take effect.

By the time Murray and Millot arrived on court just before 10pm the temperature inside the covered Rod Laver arena was below 30C.

Millot, the shortest and lowest ranked player left in the tournament put up a "spirited challenge" says The Guardian but was soon two sets down. In the third however, the Frenchamn raced into a 5-1 lead and had a set point before Murray embarked on a remarkable 23-point run that saw him triumph 7-5 and win the match.

The run "made you wonder if Murray was trying to beat some kind of midnight curfew", says the Daily Telegraph.

There will be tougher tests ahead, but "given that this is his first major event since back surgery Murray cannot be unhappy with the relatively gentle introduction afforded by two straightforward first rounds", notes the Daily Mail.

Murray will now be able to rest on what has been dubbed Frying Pan Friday, and is not in action until Saturday when he takes on Feliciano Lopez in what are expected to be cooler conditions.

"While the other half of the draw has a fourth day of brutal heat to endure on Friday, Saturday brings a cool change and blessed relief for those who have survived what one player earlier this week called 'inhumane' conditions," says the Guardian.

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