Toronto, Canada – By Ian Ransom
MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Andy Murray overcame pre-match nerves and some wayward serving to muscle into the second round of the Australian Open with a 6-1 6-1 6-2 demolition of South Africa's Kevin Anderson Monday.
After breezing through the first two sets in exactly an hour, the fifth-seeded Briton's charge to victory was halted momentarily when he was broken while leading 3-1 in the third under a closed roof at Rod Laver Arena.
But the Scot, who holds Britain's hopes of ending a 74-year wait for a men's grand slam singles champion, mowed through the next four games to seal the win.
Despite exerting complete control from the start, Murray confessed to feeling jittery in his first match against the South African qualifier, who had never got past the first round of a grand slam.
"He didn't get broken in the whole qualifying," Murray said in a courtside interview. "I was a little bit nervous at the start but broke him straight away."
Although finding the target on only 35 percent of his first serves, the Scot clubbed nine aces and 37 winners.
He also felt secure enough to play a few frivolous low-percentage shots in a match that appeared more like a training run for the Briton.
"I'm not worrying about (my serve), though. It's the strong part of my game," said Murray, who next faces the winner of the match between France's Marc Gicquel and Simone Bolelli of Italy.
"They're both good players. Gicquel I played once before ... He's a tough player, a lot of experience, pretty quick. Bolelli is very talented. Can hit the ball huge from the back of the court. But I played really well against him the last couple times," the 22-year-old added.
Elena Baltacha made it a winning double for Britain, beating Pauline Parmentier of France 6-4 3-6 7-5.
The 83rd-ranked Briton said she had "nothing to lose" in her second-round encounter against Ukraine's 30th seed Kateryna Bondarenko, who beat Raluca Olaru of Romania 6-2 7-6.
"She's a very good player. She's a seed, so I can just go out and just play tennis now without getting tight, and just give it everything I have," she told reporters.
(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Ossian Shine/Nick Mulvenney)