Andy Murray cruised into the third round of the Miami Open with a comfortable 6-4, 6-2 win over America’s Donald Young.
Murray beat Young in four sets only three weeks ago in Britain’s Davis Cup victory in Glasgow and this was even more straightforward for the Scot, who was in command from start to finish.
A third-round tie against Colombia’s Santiago Giraldo or Holland’s Robin Haase now awaits the world No 4, who is gunning for his third Miami triumph after lifting the title in 2009 and 2012.
Murray had only lost once to Young, who is ranked 44th in the world, in their previous five meetings and he got off to a blistering start, breaking the American’s serve twice and holding his own to claim an early 4-0 lead.
Murray looked on course for a whitewash first set when he opened up another two break points in the fifth game but Young dug deep to ensure he at least had one notch on the scoreboard.
The 25-year-old left-hander seemed to grow in confidence as he capitalised on some windy conditions and an incorrect Murray challenge to break back, winning three consecutive games to trail only 5-4.
Murray cut a frustrated figure but he recovered his composure to serve out the first set, before claiming a break in the opening game of the second.
Young tested his opponent with an aggressive forehand but his hitting was too straight and too inconsistent to build any sustained pressure.
A superb backhand pass gave Murray another break point at 3-1 and while Young held off temporarily, the Scot took advantage two points later to take a three-game lead.
Unforced errors continued to undermine Young’s slim hopes of a fightback and while he pulled another game back to make it 5-2, Murray served out to seal a comfortable victory.
Murray said after the match that he was pleased with his performance and, in particular, the way he handled the windy conditions.
“It was extremely hard,” Murray said. “It was ridiculously windy today, the ball was swirling around all over the place and changing direction during your serve so that makes it tough on your ball toss.
“It was very tricky and I just tried to play how I normally do in the wind – to use some variety and make it tricky for him and it worked.”
Meanwhile, precocious amateur CiCi Bellis says she’s ready to take on the best of the pros – Serena Williams.
Bellis, a 15-year-old American who made a big splash at last year’s US Open, advanced to a potential third-round match against Williams by beating Zarina Diyas 6-2, 6-1.
Williams was scheduled to play a second-round match later last night against Monica Niculescu. Bellis was already relishing the chance to take on the 19-time Grand Slam champion. “It’s going to be really fun,” Bellis said. “I have nothing to lose, so I’m just going to play my game and see what happens.”
Bellis became the youngest player to win a match at the US Open since 1996 when she upset 12th-seeded Dominika Cibulkova last August. Suddenly a celebrity, Bellis then lost to Diyas in the second round.
Two-times champion Victoria Azarenka reached the third round by beating world No 20 Jelena Jankovic 6-1, 6-1. Jankovic had 13 break-point chances but converted none.
SCOTSMAN TABLET AND MOBILE APPS