World No.3 Andy Murray eased into the third round of the Miami Masters despite never having to play at his best as he won 6-3, 6-1 against an out-of-sorts Bernard Tomic.
The 20-year-old has undoubted potential and has been touted for a bright future but after a solid start he offered next to nothing and by the end was barely running for the ball.
The Australian is the youngest player in the top 50 but at times yesterday his body language emitted nothing but negativity and questions over his commitment, already voiced by Davis Cup captain Pat Rafter, may well return.
Tomic enjoyed an ideal start as he held to love and in the fourth game, with Murray serving 2-1 down, the Australian brought up double break point after he pounced on the Scot’s poorly-executed shot.
Murray saved the first and Tomic netted the second, a feat he repeated when he again held break point as the former toiled to 2-2, the game lasting more than eight minutes.
It was an impressive start by Tomic but the promise that showed seemed to instantly evaporate, Murray breaking to love as his opponent hit another return into the net.
The Scot had to be nothing more than efficient, expending as little energy as possible in the sapping Florida heat, and there was an air of inevitability as he eased to the first set.
After holding for a 1-0 second set lead, Murray brought up break point but, after a number of games of apparent lethargy, Tomic underlined his undoubted potential with a fearsome cross-court drive as he went on to hold.
Murray comfortably held serve as Tomic’s attempted return through his legs went yards wide, prompting some boos from an underwhelmed crowd.
Tomic looked well below his best and although it was in no way Murray’s best performance he glided inexorably towards victory.
The Australian netted with a lame shot for Murray to go 5-1 up, prompting more catcalls from the stands, and the Scot easily served out. Murray knew he had not played anywhere near his peak but it was a job done satisfactorily.
He said: “No matter how you start your match you need to make your opponent work hard. I didn’t hit it unbelievable today but I worked hard. Once I got the breakthrough he made mistakes. But it is unbelievably hot and windy.”
Training in Florida was an aid to Murray, who added: “It’s tough to feel comfortable, maybe more than my opponent because I am used to the court and the wind and the humidity.”
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga toiled to a straight-sets 7-6 (8/6), 6-3 victory over Victor Troicki. Former US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro suffered a surprise 7-6, 6-1 loss to Germany’s Tobias Kamke.
Victoria Azarenka withdrew from her opening match because of an ankle injury she suffered playing at Indian Wells last week.