Murray's clay craft makes model victim of Volandri

The last time Andy Murray played Filippo Volandri he left the court clutching his right arm after suffering the wrist injury that ruined his 2007 summer. Yesterday the arm was pumping the air in celebration after a 6-4, 6-1 victory over the Italian sent Murray into the third round of the Monte Carlo Masters.

Reaching the last 16 here might seem a modest achievement, but this is the furthest the British No 1 has gone in a clay-court event since he joined the senior tour. It was only his fourth victory in the 12 tour matches he has played on the surface and the first time he has won matches back-to-back.

Volandri, the world No 42, may have a lower ranking than Murray's previous opponent, Feliciano Lopez, but, unlike the Spaniard, he is a clay-court specialist with a game made for the surface. With the Italian border just a few kilometres up the road he also enjoyed the majority of the crowd's support, although Murray probably felt more at home in the chilly conditions.

The 20-year-old Scot looked in command from the moment he had Volandri in trouble in his first service game. Striking the ball cleanly and covering the ground with great athleticism, Murray was the better player in every department. Volandri, who has been struggling to overcome a knee injury, said afterwards that he was surprised how much stronger Murray had become since they last met.

Breaks of serve were exchanged in the sixth and seventh games before Murray broke again to take the first set after 44 minutes. From 1-1 in the second Murray won five games in a row to secure a third-round meeting tomorrow with Novak Djokovic, who was presented with the Association of Tennis Professionals' most improved player of the year award after his 6-3, 6-3 victory over Ivan Ljubicic.

Djokovic, a week younger than Murray and a friend since junior days, has won all three of their meetings on the senior tour, although the Scot was carrying injuries when they met in successive semi-finals in Indian Wells and Miami last year.

Murray acknowledged the "unbelievable" consistency of Djokovic's results over the last year, during which time the Serb has climbed to No 3 in the world rankings and won the Australian Open. "Normally young guys play some good weeks and then some bad weeks," Murray said. "He's made at least the semis of every Grand Slam event and played well in a lot of Masters series tournaments."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
tv
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
life
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
Extras
indybest
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
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.

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
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