Andy Murray puts down marker in Miami

 

Andy Murray had fallen at the first hurdle on both his previous appearances at the Miami Masters but there was rarely any danger of a repeat performance by the 24-year-old Scot yesterday.

Murray needed just 76 minutes to beat Colombia's Alejandro Falla 6-2, 6-3 and earn a place in the third round against the big-serving Canadian, Milos Raonic, who beat Arnaud Clément 7-6, 6-2.

Having also lost first time out in Indian Wells a fortnight ago, it was understandable that Murray should make a cautious start, but after sharing the first four games he won eight of the next nine to take a grip on the match. Falla, who won the opening two sets against Roger Federer in the first round at Wimbledon two years ago, then rallied briefly by breaking serve for a second time, but the world No 71 was unable to sustain his challenge.

Although Murray failed to win a match in four of his six previous visits to Miami, his other two appearances should give him confidence. The world No 4 reached the semi-finals in 2007 before losing to Novak Djokovic and earned his revenge against the Serb two years later by beating him in the final.

This year Murray is seeded to face France's Gilles Simon, a 6-4, 6-2 winner yesterday over the Spanish qualifier Roberto Bautista-Agut, in the fourth round. Tomas Berdych, who was meeting Nicolas Mahut last night, was a potential quarter-final opponent. Rafael Nadal, who was due to play the final match of the day against Santiago Giraldo, was seeded to meet Murray in the semi-finals. Djokovic and Federer are the top seeds in the other half of the draw.

Britain's Heather Watson enjoyed one of the best victories of her career when she beat the Czech Republic's Lucie Safarova 6-2, 6-1 in just 81 minutes. Safarova, the world No 25, is one of the most experienced players in the women's game. She has won four WTA titles and includes Caroline Wozniacki and Svetlana Kuznetsova among her victims this year.

Watson broke Safarova's serve five times and held on doggedly to her own, saving six out of seven break points against her. The 19-year-old from Guernsey is based at Nick Bollettieri's academy in Florida and was given a wild card to play in Miami. She beat Romania's Sorana Cirstea in the first round and now meets Victoria Azarenka, the world No 1, who beat the Dutchwoman Michaella Krajicek 6-3, 7-5. Azarenka is unbeaten this year.

BUY WIMBLEDON TICKETS

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border