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.

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent