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Murray Sails Past Sousa; Tomic Battles To Win

Melbourne, Australia

Tomic© Getty ImagesBernard Tomic served 26 aces in his second round win against Daniel Brands

Third seed Andy Murray has sailed into the third round of the Australian Open, conceding just eight games against Portugal’s Joao Sousa en route to a 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 victory on Thursday in Melbourne.

The Scot served 14 aces during his one hour and 41 minutes on court as temperatures crept to 39 degrees Celsius.

"It's good to get it done in three sets because physically, it's very demanding," Murray said in an on-court interview. "When you're playing in that heat, it's very, very difficult to focus when you're really out of breath," he added.

Watch Murray Interview

The reigning US Open champion next faces Lithuanian qualifier Ricardas Berankis, who he practiced with as recently as the Brisbane International earlier this month.

"He plays well, he is not that tall and he hits the ball pretty big from the back of the court," Murray said, noting that Berankis hits the ball flat and aggressively.

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Local favourite Bernard Tomic survived a tough four-setter against German qualifier Daniel Brands, prevailing 6-7(4), 7-5, 7-6(3), 7-6(8), five minutes short of three hours.

The 20-year-old Australian converted his eighth match point to the delight of the Rod Laver Arena crowd.

Watch Tomic Hot Shot

"I was surprised [with] the way he played was a really tough match," said Tomic, who served 26 aces, three more than Brands, and won 78 per cent of his first serve points. 

Marin Cilic, the No. 12 seed and 2010 semi-finalist (l. to Murray), will challenge No. 21 seed Andreas Seppi of Italy in the third round after the Croatian proved too strong for American Rajeev Ram in a 7-5, 6-2, 6-4 win. It was his 230th tour-level match victory.

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