Australian Open: Andy Murray thrashes big-serving Sam Groth

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Murray delights in Groth win
Australian Open
Venue: Melbourne Park Dates: 18-31 January
Coverage: Live radio and text commentary on all Andy Murray matches. Listen to Tennis Breakfast on Radio 5 live sports extra and the BBC Sport website from 07:00 GMT.

Britain's Andy Murray swept past home hope Sam Groth to reach the third round of the Australian Open.

The Scot, seeded number two, dismantled the Australian's big serve to win 6-0 6-4 6-1 in one hour and 30 minutes.

Groth, 28, has the fastest serve ever recorded to his name at 163mph, but was broken in his first four service games as Murray totally dominated.

Murray, 28, moves into the last 32 where he will face Portugal's Joao Sousa for the third time in four years.

Earlier, fellow Briton Johanna Konta beat China's Zheng Saisai 6-2 6-3 to reach the third round in the women's draw.

Groth serve defused by Murray

In their first singles meeting, Groth quickly discovered that his huge serve made barely a dent on the Murray return game.

After just 30 minutes Murray wrapped up a first set that was characterised by return winners and unplayable lobs from the Briton, and not one ace from the Australian.

Groth finally delivered his first ace after 36 minutes, only to drop serve again moments later, and there were 43 minutes on the clock when he finally got the scoreboard moving to trail 6-0 3-1.

There was a brief respite for the world number 67 as Murray's level dropped long enough for him to be pegged back to 4-4, but another run of games - this time five in a row - saw the four-time finalist regain control.

Groth's situation was so desperate that he challenged his own serve after sensing another Murray return heading his way, but it was overruled and he was broken for a seventh time.

With Murray serving for victory, the Australian then twisted his ankle reaching for a low ball and looked in real pain as the Scot sealed victory.

Sam Groth
Sam Groth was playing at Rod Laver Arena for the first time

Murray's pre-match boost

Groth lives in Melbourne and was born in nearby Narrandera but the local favourite gave Murray a timely confidence boost before the match when he revealed the Rod Laver Arena would be a new experience for him.

Murray said: "I was standing right next to him in the locker room and he said to someone, 'This is my first time on Rod Laver. I've never even hit on here before.' I was like, 'Great, that's good for me.'

"Was I surprised he said it? A little bit. We were literally sitting a metre or so away."

With Groth crowding the net at every opportunity, Murray used his lob to particularly good effect.

"The lob is one of my favourite ways to win a point," he told BBC Radio 5 live. "It is a difficult shot and that is why not many players try it.

"It is not a shot I practise but I hit it loads. My brother always used to play serve and volley from about the age of 10 and that is probably where I started practising it."

Much to learn about being a father

Murray's wife Kim is due to give birth to their first child in February, and the British number one has said he would leave Melbourne early to attend.

"I haven't been to parenting classes," he said. "I have read a few books, though.

"If I get the call to go home I am going to be up the whole flight reading and trying to get as many tips as I can so I am prepared when I land.

"From speaking to people, you can't really be taught. I will go on instinct with that and I am sure my wife will give me a lot of tips as well."

Analysis

Russell Fuller, BBC tennis correspondent

"Murray has a fabulous record against both Australians and big servers, so Sam Groth was an opponent who could have been made to order.

"The second seed loves a target and, with the Australian regularly rushing the net, Murray could pass or lob him almost at will - and with devastating effect."

Andy Murray fans
Andy Murray's fans make themselves heard on Rod Laver Arena

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