Murray defeats Beck

The last time Andy Murray was in Melbourne, he was defeated in the final by Roger Federer in three sets. But now he is at his best, and is determined to play in the final again.

Murray eased into the second round of the Australian Open by brushing aside the challenge of Karol Beck.
The Scot was 6-3 6-1 4-2 up and well on his way to a routine win on Hisense Arena when the Slovakian retired due to a shoulder injury which had required treatment in the final set.

It was a shame for Beck, who had battled hard, but too many unforced errors proved his undoing as Murray withstood everything thrown at him before upping his game at key times.
On paper a meeting between world number five Murray and Beck, ranked 101 and with just one ATP World Tour win to his name in 2010, looked a complete mismatch, and so it proved. Beck had his moments but Murray's superior all-round game was decisive.

"Obviously you'd rather finish the match off without your opponent being hurt," Murray said. "But it does happen quite a lot so you just have to move on and get yourself ready for the next round. It was pretty close to the end when he retired so I don't think it will affect me too much in the next round.

"He's a very talented player. He hit some great shots, he just started throwing everything at me. He went for some huge shots. I just kind of had to weather the storm a little bit. I just had to hang in, make a lot of balls. He was playing high risk tennis. He managed to make a few mistakes before he stopped."

That took care of the tennis, but what about the business of readying himself for another tilt at the final? Having come so close last year, he knew how to prepare for a long run in Melbourne but coming back to the scene of his greatest disappointment to date was surely going to be tricky. Apparently not. Murray is a fast learner and he mops up information like a sponge. He has learned from last year and now he thinks he is ready to put that new-found knowledge to good use.

"Experience obviously helps," Murray said. "I played quite a lot of big matches last year. I went through some very tough patches last year, as well, especially after the Aussie Open. That was something I had to come back from and I learned from. So I think that mentally I'm probably in a better place. Physically I've worked hard again, so physically I should be good.
"In terms of my game, I work on things a lot in practice, things that are hopefully going to improve my game. Then you just need to go out there and try to put them into the matches when you get the chance."

Now he plays Illya Marchenko, the world No.79 from the Ukraine. Knowing little of the 22-year-old's game, Murray dispatched his mum, Judy, and his best mate and acting coach, Dani Vallverdu, to take a squint at the muscular bloke from Donetsk. "They will give me the tactics, things to look for," the world No.5 said. And they are likely to tell him that he will have nothing to cry about on Thursday, provided he keeps doing what comes naturally - after all, it was enough to get him to the final last year.

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