In-form Murray marches on

By Russell Greaves 12 October 2016 38
In-form Murray marches on

Andy Murray continued his fine form with a convincing straight-sets triumph over Steve Johnson in the second round of the Shanghai Masters on Wednesday.

The Briton, who has set his sights on overhauling Novak Djokovic at the top of the world rankings, eased to a 6-3 6-2 triumph at the ATP 1000 event, which he has won twice.

Having claimed the China Open title at the weekend, Murray was straight back into the groove against Johnson, who applied some early pressure before fading against the man who beat him in the Olympic quarter-finals in Rio.

Murray faced break point in the opening game after his superlative defence was breached by a crushing Johnson forehand, but the world number two held his nerve and serve.

Rain threatened to disrupt proceedings before the American served in the fourth game, in which he dug deep to draw level after trailling 30-40.

The decisive moment came when Johnson missed a simple overhead and Murray roared ahead, breaking to love for a 4-2 lead when his opponent sent a wild forehand long.

Johnson had a lucky escape while serving to stay in the set as his racket slipped from his grasp and a distracted Murray put the return long, but it only delayed the inevitable.

The second-set breakthrough came much more quickly as Johnson fell 5-1 down in the face of some stunning tennis from Murray, whose movement and craft were on another level.

With Johnson's challenge fading and his body language suggesting a comeback was well beyond his reach, Murray put the contest to bed to set up a third-round showdown with 13th seed Lucas Pouille.

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Russell Greaves