British top seed wins through in straight sets in Melbourne.
British fourth seed Andy Murray strung together a winning sequence of 23 consecutive points to beat French qualifier Vincent Millot in straight sets and reach the Australian Open third round Thursday.
Murray, a three-time beaten finalist in Melbourne, downed Millot 6-2, 6-2, 7-5 in just over two hours on Rod Laver Arena.
Murray was down two breaks in the final set against the 267th-ranked Millot, but reeled off the last 23 points in a row to get a double-break and serve out for the match.
“I didn’t really care about winning 23 points in a row. I wanted to win the match,” Murray said.
“I’m glad I finished it there, because it was very hard conditions. Even in the evening it was so humid after they closed the roof and there was rain and thunderstorms.
“It changed the way the court and the balls played a lot. It was heavier. A lot of balls in the net today. Slowed everything down a bit. I just was glad to get off.”
The Scot ran through the first two sets but then encountered stiffer resistance from the French left-hander, who had won his first Grand Slam match in the opening round against American Wayne Odesnik.
“I’ve been in the final here three times and this is the tournament I love and I want to try and win,” he said after advancing. “I don’t know if this will be the year, but I’ll try my best.”
Murray said he found the playing conditions difficult after easing through his first round with Japan’s Go Soeda for the loss of just five games.
“I thought first match I played very well. Today I found tricky. I found the opponent tricky. I found the conditions tricky,” he said.
“I maybe didn’t adjust to those sort of conditions and the opponent as well as I would have liked. But I did okay. I did some good things out there.
“The first match I would say I played better. But I’m through to the third round. Haven’t lost a set yet.”
Murray said Millot had played “unbelievable” early in the final set.
“It was unbelievable the way he played and he was stepping up to the baseline on every shot and hitting winners,” he said.
“He was almost going for broke on a lot of shots. He was hitting the ball so early, flat and low. It was very humid today, so the ball really wasn’t flying much.
“He started missing a few balls and I adjusted my tactics a little bit.”
Murray broke Millot’s serve eight times and lost his service three times, while hitting 25 winners and 31 unforced errors. He will play Spanish 26th seed Feliciano Lopez in the third round.
“Feliciano’s got a great serve. He comes to the net a bit. Different game style to all of the guys nowadays pretty much,” he said.
“So that will be another good test for me and naturally get tougher.”