Closing the Rod Laver Arena night session on day three of the Australia Open will be the World No.1 Andy Murray. He takes on the talented young Russian Andrey Rublev in a matchup with Alex Di Minaur or Sam Querrey waiting for the winner in the next round.
Murray was below part for parts of his first round win over Ilya Marchenko. He failed to serve the first set out at the first time of asking but eventually broke and held for the set to set the ball rolling for a 7-5 7-6 6-2 victory. He was deadly in taking break points, converting 6 of the 8 opportunities he had in the match. Murray was fairly honest about his performance in the match.
“I don’t think it was the best match, to be honest. You know, the conditions there were pretty different to what we’ve been practicing. Last week’s been pretty cool. A lot of days, it’s been overcast. The temperature of the court is much cooler. When it’s like that, the ball is bouncing a bit lower, a bit easier to control the ball. I was a bit tentative because of that. I didn’t serve that well either. So you end up having to work really hard on a lot of your service games when it’s like that.” he said.
Meanwhile, Rublev came from a set down to beat Yen-Hsun Lu and earn his first career win at a grand slam. He saved 19 of 22 break point opportunities in the victory, something that could be of concern when he faces a much better returner in Murray in the next round. A junior slam winner in 2014, Rublev is of the same junior grouping as Alexander Zverev but has failed to take it to the next level like the German as yet. The Russian is an exceptionally clean ball striker but as of now is just as notable for his on court temperament which got him in trouble with Fernando Verdasco in their 2015 meeting when the Spaniard lost to him. Rublev is yet to play on a stage like this in his pro career and it will be interesting to see how he responds to the situation.
Andy Murray in three set