London 2012

Murray eases through

Brit will take on Marcos Baghdatis in next round

Last Updated: 31/07/12 10:10pm

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Andy Murray: Claimed a dominant win over Finland's Nieminen

Andy Murray: Claimed a dominant win over Finland's Nieminen

Andy Murray sailed into the third round of the men's singles at the Olympic tennis tournament after comfortably beating Finland's Jarkko Nieminen 6-2 6-4 under the roof on Centre Court.

The third seed, who will also play mixed doubles with Laura Robson, looked in fine fettle and next faces a rematch with Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis, who he beat in the third round of Wimbledon.

Murray and Nieminen know each other well having met four times previously, most recently in the second round of the French Open earlier this summer, while they also played at Wimbledon two years ago in a match watched by the Queen.

The Scot won all those meetings, although he had to struggle through a back spasm to come through their Roland Garros clash.

No such dramas were expected today, with Nieminen having won only one match since that encounter and Murray fit and in great form, and the home favourite raced out of the blocks.

Not helped by a foot fault, Nieminen dropped serve in the opening game, and Murray was firmly in control of the first set when he broke again to lead 4-1.

The third seed was hitting the ball extremely cleanly and, after saving two break points in fine style, he confidently served out the set.

Best start

Murray, who has made no secret of his desire to make amends for his first-round exit in Beijing, then made the best possible start to the second set with another break.

The were plenty of British flags in a big but not entirely full crowd and a decent level of noise, but Murray was simply having too easy a time of it to generate an electric atmosphere.

The 25-year-old was frustrated to miss two more chances to break in the seventh game but he was serving just as well as he had in his first-round win over Stanislas Wawrinka and Nieminen was not getting a look-in.

The Finn was left sprawled on the grass as Murray put away another winner to bring up his first match point, and Nieminen raised his fist in celebration when he saved it with an ace.

The 31-year-old ended up in the stands as he tried to prevent Murray serving out the match, but it was in vain as the British number one clinched victory with an ace after 61 minutes.

Speaking after the match, Murray said: "I played well today. He didn't start the match that well. Then he definitely played better in the second set. I had the momentum for most of the match. I served well, especially in the second set, I didn't give him many opportunities.

"Once I got a break up in the second it was important to stay focused because I was getting a lot of free points from my serve and I needed to try to keep that up, and I did a good job."

Tsonga epic

France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga came through the longest three-set match in Olympic history to book his place in the third round.

The Frenchman, seeded fifth, finally saw off the challenge of Canada's Milos Raonic 6-3 3-6 25-23 in three hours and 57 minutes.

He will play Spain's Feliciano Lopez in the third round.

Novak Djokovic gave a notice of medal-winning intent with a stunning display to beat three-time Wimbledon finalist Andy Roddick 6-2 6-1 in the second round of the men's singles.

The second seed had looked a little rusty in his opening win over Fabio Fognini, losing the first set before fighting back in wet and slippery conditions, but this time he was on form from the first shot.

Being under the roof on Centre Court certainly helped, and Djokovic simply blew Roddick away, wrapping up victory in 54 minutes to set up a last-16 clash with Lleyton Hewitt of Australia.

Hewitt booked his place in the third round after clinching a surprise 6-4 7-5 win over Croatian 13th seed Marin Cilic.

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