Murray Moves On In Miami

Brit downs Istomin

Andy Murray shook off whatever rust there was from Indian Wells and looked comfortable in a familiar environment on Saturday night at the Miami Open presented by Itau.

Murray, who has a home in Miami, won in straight sets against Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan 6-3, 7-5 in his first match since losing to Argentina's Federico Delbonis at the BNP Paribas Open last week.

The No. 2 seed broke Istomin four times and performed close to the level Miami fans have come to expect from the Brit. Murray has won the Miami tournament two times (2009, 20013) and finished as a finalist twice as well (2012, 2015).

“I feel comfortable there,” Murray said last week of Miami.

The 28 year mixed spin with power to land 24 winners. He broke Istomin to start the match and never relinquished his serve during the opening set. An Istomin forehand long gave Murray another break and a one-set lead.

In the second set, the two traded holds until Murray netted a forehand to hand Istomin his first break of the match. But down 2-3, Murray played inspired tennis. He broke Istomin at love. Murray then held to go up 4-3 and finished the match by breaking Istomin at 6-5.

It was not Murray's cleanest match of 2016, though. He landed only 52 per cent of his first serves and committed 24 unforced errors.

“When you're break points down and trying drop shots or going for big shots from the wrong position, it makes it tough,” Murray said. “But I was hitting the ball cleanly. It’s just the shot selection tonight could have been better, I think.”

Istomin was looking for his second win in the past six months. The World No. 76 upset Croatia's Borna Coric in Miami for his first win of 2016. With Saturday's loss, Istomin fell to 1-30 lifetime against Top 10 players.

Murray will face Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov in the third round. Dimitrov overcame seven double faults to beat Delbonis 7-6(8), 4-6, 6-4. Murray leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry 6-2. The Brit also has won their past three meetings on hard courts.

“[Dimitrov] is obviously a top-quality player,” Murray noted. “He had a good win today, a tough win, against Delbonis.

“We played here once before; I managed to win that one. I played a bunch of tough matches against him. I think the last one was in Cincinnati where he had a match point. He had a bunch of chances to win that one and I managed to turn it around. I know I'll need to play good tennis and be a little bit more disciplined than I was tonight.”

No. 9 seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga also moved into the third round on Saturday evening. The Frenchman used four service breaks to bypass Colombia's Santiago Giraldo 6-3, 6-1.

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