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Murray makes light work of Querrey at Open

NZN 20/01/2017 Ben McKay

World No.1 Andy Murray remains on track for an elusive Australian Open crown after downing Sam Querrey in straight sets for a place in the last 16.

On Hisense Arena on Friday, Murray saw off the American 31st seed's challenge, winning 6-4 6-2 6-4.

The first set was a struggle, with the Scot only breaking serve in the ninth game.

But the 29-year-old flexed his muscles in the second set, winning in less than half-an-hour.

Querrey - who infamously beat Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon last year when the Serb held all four grand slam titles - broke Murray early in the third set but his challenge faded, losing in one hour and 59 minutes.

The two-time Wimbledon champion looked in fine form against Querrey, turning defence into attack with his trademark counter-punching.

Crucially for his hopes of a breakthrough success in Australia, Murray showed no signs of impairment from a rolled ankle during Wednesday's second-round win.

"It feels really good," he said.

"After the first few games - where I was maybe slightly hesitant - I moved really well towards the end of the first set, and second and third set. That was really good."

With long-time Open adversary Djokovic losing in the second round, Murray is an odds-on favourite to claim his first title at Melbourne Park.

Murray admitted his surprise to learn of the Serb's early departure.

"Novak's record here speaks for itself. He's had incredible success here over the years," he said.

"I didn't see any of the match ... I don't know exactly what happened but, obviously, I'm surprised."

As the top seeds, Djokovic's departure won't have an impact on Murray unless he reaches the final, where it will be another face on the other side of the net.

And Murray could hardly ask for a better draw to reach the quarter-finals, with a fourth-round match-up on Sunday against unseeded German Mischa Zverev.

Zverev is in unchartered waters having made his first fourth round at a grand slam at the age of 29.

Murray said he knew the German and his game well after first playing together at junior level.

"He's doing well. He plays a very different game style to most of the guys now," Murray said.

"He's serve-volleying, coming forward as much as possible, not with the most-powerful game.

"He doesn't serve, like, 220km/h. He serves 185s, 190s, but places it well."

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