Murray beats Bai to progress in Shanghai

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Andy Murray fought his way into the last 16 of the Shanghai Masters today with a straight-sets win over local favourite Yan Bai.

The victory was not as straightforward as the 6-2 6-2 scoreline suggests, with the world number four taking just five of 13 break points against an opponent ranked 461 places below him.

Murray will face French qualifier Jeremy Chardy in the next round.

Bai had produced an impressive performance to oust Radek Stepanek in straight sets in his opening match in Shanghai.

But the Chinese wild card looked out of his depth in the early stages against Murray, and a series of sloppy shots into the net allowed the Scot to race into a 4-0 lead.

Bai showed signs of recovery by holding his next two service games, and even found himself with a break point in game eight as Murray's concentration wavered.

However, the world number four wiped that out with an overhead smash before quickly wrapping up the game and the opening set with it.

Murray broke again at the start of the second, and a further break gave the Scot a 3-0 lead.

But Bai refused to be beaten and clawed a break back in game four with a winner down the line.

Murray regained his advantage on Bai's next service game, with the Chinese player putting a forehand wide, before holding serve to take a 5-1 lead.

He wasted a match point in game seven by hitting a forehand into the net, but eventually ended his opponent's challenge after one hour and 21 minutes on court with a neat drop shot.

Murray admitted afterwards he had found Bai to be a tricky opponent having struggled with his fitness following the US Open in September.

"He played some good points, he was pretty quick," the Scot told Sky Sports 1.

"It was definitely a good first match, I hit a lot of balls and didn't make too many mistakes.

"I have been sick a couple of times since the US Open so haven't been able to train that much. You lose a bit of strength when you're ill. That was a good start."