disarms Groth with masterly display
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[January 21, 2016]
By Greg Stutchbury
MELBOURNE (Reuters) - World number two
Andy Murray used his full repertoire of clever passing shots and teasing
lobs to disarm the world's fastest server, Sam Groth, and swiftly book a
spot in the Australian Open third round on Thursday.
Murray, a four-times runner-up at Melbourne Park, likes nothing more
than fending off the heavy hitters and had too much craft for Groth
as he won the first nine games on the way to a straightforward 6-0
6-4 6-1 victory.
Groth was making his first ever appearance on Rod Laver Arena, and
it showed as he was taken to the cleaners.
"He didn't start the match off serving that well, which helped,"
Murray told reporters after his 91-minute victory.
"Because I was returning well, that maybe put some more pressure on
"I tend to enjoy playing against that game style. Always did since I
was a kid."
Groth began the match having blasted 27 aces and the fastest serve
recorded at the tournament so far at 235 kph in his first round
victory against Adrian Mannarino.
Against Murray his first ace did not arrive until the second game of
the second set, by which time he was already reeling from a slow
start punished by the 28-year-old Scot.
Murray was lobbing and passing at will and such was his complete
mastery of his opponent, all Groth could do was shake his head and
offer a wry smile.
"I wasn't making first serves," Groth said. "Wasn't making first
volleys. He's too good of a player not to do that against and not a
guy you want to get behind against either."
Groth finally got on the scoreboard in the 10th game, the Australian
raising his arms in triumph to earn a massive roar from the
[to top of second column]
Murray lost his momentum and Groth broke back as he leveled the set
"I think I held serve, got a game on the board, released a few
nerves and probably just started playing the way I wanted to," Groth
Murray, however, regrouped and broke Groth's serve to seal the set
then ran away with the decider to set up a third round clash with
Portugal's Joao Sousa.
Despite his easy progress so far, however, Murray said he felt there
was a lot of work to do before his next match.
"There's some things I certainly could have done better," Murray
said. "I didn't serve a high percentage of first serves. I wasn't
hitting the ball from the back of the court as well.
"It's been a very good start but I can still get better."
(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty/Patrick
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