Andy Murray sprang to life yesterday as the Scot began his clay-court season with a 6-0, 6-3 hammering of Serb Viktor Troicki to reach the third round of the Monte Carlo Masters. He was joined by 13th seed Fernando Verdasco as the Spaniard beat Ivan Dodig of Croatia 3-6, 6-3, 6-1. Under the watchful eye of coach Ivan Lendl, third seed Murray was ruthless in his demolition of Troicki, who gave him a brief fright on clay at last year’s French Open. “The goal is Paris, that’s what we are working on now,” said Murray, who broke five times on his way to victory.
Murray showed poise as he put behind him his loss at the Miami Masters just over a fortnight ago to Novak Djokovic, the Serbian who is top seed in the principality. Meanwhile, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga celebrated his 27th birthday with 6-2, 6-4 win over Philippe Kohlschreiber. “I don’t remember playing on my birthday as a professional,” said Tsonga, who was serenaded by fans from the stands.