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.

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.

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine