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Australian Open: Andy Murray untroubled by world's fastest server

Melbourne: World No 2 Andy Murray demolished big-serving Australian Sam Groth in straight sets to reach the third round at the Australian Open yesterday.

Andy Murray plays a backhand return during his singles match against Australia’s Sam Groth in Australian Open yesterday. Pic/AFP
Andy Murray plays a backhand return during his singles match against Australia’s Sam Groth in Australian Open yesterday. Pic/AFP

Murray completely outplayed the holder of the world's fastest serve 6-0, 6-4, 6-1 in one hour 31 minutes and will next play Portugal's Joao Sousa in the third round.

Murray dissected Groth's booming serve with a variety of precision lobs, ankle-high returns and unerring passing shots, all mixed in with the Australian's volleying errors.

“It's nice to play different game styles, a lot of the players play quite similar games nowadays and Sam's obviously quite different, coming to the net a lot,” Murray said.

“When he serves well it's easy to get impatient as you sometimes don't touch the ball for a whole game. He didn't start off the match serving so well which helped me and when he picked up his game in the second set it became much tougher.”
A significant match statistic was that Murray served more aces than 67th-ranked Groth 10-6, while breaking the Australian's powerful serve seven times.

The Scot broke Groth's first three service games to take the opening set in 29 minutes, leaving the nonplussed Aussie shaking his head. It took until his fifth service game that Groth held serve for the first time to the roar of the home crowd, with the Australian raising his arms in mock triumph.

263kmph The fastest serve Australia’s Sam Groth recorded in 2012

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