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.

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave long-running series
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
voices
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Sport
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
athletics
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
music
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
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.

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam