Andy Murray makes light work of toiling Lukas Lacko in Japan

 

Tokyo

The rain-laden skies outside were as grey as an autumn afternoon in Scotland, but under the cover of the retractable roof here in the Ariake Colosseum yesterday Andy Murray's tennis shone like a summer's day by the Mediterranean. The 25-year-old Scot needed just 57 minutes to beat Slovakia's Lukas Lacko 6-1, 6-2 to earn a place against Stanislas Wawrinka in the quarter-finals of the Japan Open.

There were periods in the first set in particular when Murray was all but unplayable. From 15-15 in the opening game the world No 4 won 15 points in a row. Murray hit some spectacular cross-court forehands and Lacko, the world No 65, only broke the spell with his own piece of magic, chasing to retrieve a lob and then turning to drill a forehand pass beyond Murray's reach.

Lacko won just two points in the first five games but managed to bring some respectability to the scoreline with a minor recovery in mid-match.

Once Murray had broken in the third game of the second set, normal service was resumed. Playing perfectly judged drop shots and cruelly deceptive lobs, Murray wasted no time.

"I started the match well, which was nice, because it's been a long day," he said afterwards. "The match before ours was pretty long and we got here quite early, so I wanted to try and start well. It's not always easy, but I started the match almost perfectly. Then once I got the break in the second set I started to play better again."

The Scot said it was difficult to compare his performance with his opening-round win over big-serving Ivo Karlovic. "It can be difficult against Karlovic to know exactly how well you've played because there are very few rallies," he said. "You just hopefully have to play a couple of good points in some service games or maybe in the tie-break, so it was hard to tell in the first round. But today I played very well."

 

Get Adobe Flash player

 

Murray will play doubles today with his brother Jamie – they begin the defence of their title here against Eric Butorac (Jamie's former partner) and Jarkko Nieminen – before meeting Wawrinka tomorrow. The 27-year-old Swiss has won four of his 11 meetings with Murray and has had a good year on hard courts, having reached the semi-finals of the Cincinnati Masters and the fourth round of the US Open.

Wawrinka needed more than two and a half hours to beat Jeremy Chardy 7-6, 6-7, 7-5, while Janko Tipsarevic, a potential semi-final opponent for Murray, beat Gilles Simon 4-6, 6-3, 6-1.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
Richard Norris in GQ
mediaGQ features photo shoot with man who underwent full face transplant
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
News
Your picture is everything in the shallow world of online dating
i100
News
The Swiss Re tower or 'Gherkin' was at one time the UK’s most expensive office when German bank IVG and private equity firm Evans Randall bought it
news
Life and Style
Attractive women on the Internet: not a myth
techOkCupid boasts about Facebook-style experiments on users
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on