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Tuesday 21 November 2017

Kvitova off to flyer with demolition

WORLD number two Petra Kvitova took a little bit of time to get warmed up in the blistering Melbourne heat before she demolished Vera Dushevina 6-2 6-0 in just over an hour to advance to the second round of the Australian Open.

The Wimbledon champion, who is the pundits' favourite for the title at Melbourne Park, was broken in her first service game by the 25-year-old Russian, but then won the next 12 games in temperatures above 30°C.

Dushevina had no answer to the tall Kvitova's court coverage, punishing groundstrokes and execution of shots from nearly impossible angles.

Kvitova, who helped the Czech Republic to the Hopman Cup in Perth then made the Sydney International semi-finals before the year's first grand slam began, next plays either Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro or Romania's Irina Begu.



Murray made to work hard

Andy Murray's bid to reach a third successive Australian Open final started in lacklustre fashion today as the world number four dropped the opening set of clash with American Ryan Harrison before moving into the second round.

Murray, again the sole Briton left in the draw after five of his compatriots meekly departed yesterday, was second best on Hisense Arena as Harrison, the world number 77, clinched the first set 6-4 in 51 minutes.

However, Murray managed to break the teenager early on in the second set, and from there he didn't look back as he completed a 4-6 6-3 6-4 6-2 win.

"We had a few long rallies and he made me do a lot of running. I'll need to make sure in my next match that I play closer to the baseline," said Murray, who will next play Edouard Roger-Vasselin after the Frenchman beat Xavier Malisse.

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