Ice-cool Murray crushes Haase at Australian Open
Andy Murray brushed aside Dutchman Robin Haase in a clinical display to progress smoothly to the second round of the Australian Open on Tuesday.
The third-seeded Scot had few problems with the 53rd-ranked Haase, winning 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 in 1hr 37min in warming temperatures on Rod Laver Arena.
Murray, who broke through for his first Grand Slam title at last year’s US Open, was always in charge of his opening match breaking Haase’s service eight times in a dominant display.
“It was a good start and it was nice to win in straight sets, it was the hottest day of the tournament so far,” Murray said at courtside.
“It took a little while to get used to that and the court was playing much quicker because of it.”
Murray, 25, has twice been runner-up at the Australian Open. He is drawn to face 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer in the semi-finals and possibly defending champion Novak Djokovic in the final.
The Scot hit 25 winners mixed with 20 unforced errors, while Haase gave up 35 unforced errors.
Murray broke the erratic Dutchman’s serve three times to take the opening set in 41 minutes helped by his superior accuracy. Meanwhile Haase frequently over-hit his volleys and failed to put consistent pressure on the third seed.
Murray was broken as he attempted to serve out for the set, putting a weak sliced backhand into the net, but it was only a temporary setback as the Scot broke Haase’s serve next game for the set.
Murray, with an iced towel around his neck at changeovers to cope with the heat, took a grip on the match and he raced through the second set in 26 minutes with two more service breaks, conceding just 12 points.
And the third seed broke the wilting Dutchman’s opening service game in the final set as he surged towards victory.
Murray reeled off another break in the fifth game, but lost his own serve for only the second time in the match at 4-2. But he again broke Haase’s serve to take the match when the Dutchman overhit a forehand.