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Andy Murray eases into Australian Open pre-quarters

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World number one Andy Murray produced a splendid performance as he swept aside Sam Querrey of California in straight sets to storm into the fourth round of the Australian Open on Friday.

The British maestro rolled into the round of 16 for the ninth straight year after registering a comfortable 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 win over power-hitting Querrey in a thrilling third-round contest of the men’s singles event at the Melbourne Park.

Murray remained dominated throughout the match as he didn’t drop serve once in the first two sets, thereby keeping his unforced error count to just 13 and drawing Querrey into prolonged baseline rallies.

Both players traded early service holds to start the third set, but the top-seed was in control of most of the exchanges.

With the win, Murray who is aiming for his first Australian Open title after finishing runner-up here five times (2010, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016), has now set up a clash against Germany’s Mischa Zverev for a place in the quarter-finals.

Earlier, Murray’s chances of clinching an elusive Australian Open title had improved after his rival and former world number one Novak Djokovic was sensationally stunned out by wild-card entrant Denis Istomin in Thursday’s second round.

In another clash, fourth-seed Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland also booked his place in the pre-quarterfinals after battling past Serbia’s Viktor Troicki.

After going down in the first set, Wawrinka rebounded strongly to register a 3-6, 6-2 , 6-2, 7-6 (9-7) win over his Serbian opponent at Rod Laver Arena.

The 2014 Australian champion, who reached the round of 16 for the fifth consecutive year, will next play Andreas Seppi, who defeated Steve Darcis earlier Friday.

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