Melbourne: Andy Murray made dealing with the world’s biggest serve look easy on Thursday as he reached the Australian Open third round alongside Ana Ivanovic, who was shaken by an elderly spectator’s courtside fall.
Murray, faced with the world record-breaking serve of the physically imposing Sam Groth, had all the answers as he won 6-0, 6-4, 6-1 in just 91 minutes against the flummoxed Australian.
Earlier, Ivanovic went through 6-3, 6-3 against Anastasija Sevastova in a match which was held up for 30 minutes when a fan was badly injured by a fall on some steps inside Rod Laver Arena.
“I felt really bad. I was really shaking, because the sound of the lady falling was really loud. I could hear it,” said Ivanovic, who looked on anxiously as the patron received treatment.
Two-time champion Victoria Azarenka was the most impressive of the women’s winners when she hammered Danka Kovinic 6-1, 6-2 to reach the third round for the loss of just three games in total.
“I think I’m feeling in the best shape body-wise, spirit-wise, everything-wise,” said Azarenka, who has recovered from injury and a bout of depression following her split with musician Redfoo.
Progression was less smooth for world number three Garbine Muguruza, who struggled through an error-strewn first set against Kirsten Flipkens before finding her touch and winning 6-4, 6-2.
Australia’s Groth clocked the fastest serve on record, 263 kilometres per hour, in 2012 but he was picked off by Murray’s redoubtable defence and intelligent choice of shots.
Former world number one Lleyton Hewitt bade an emotional farewell from tennis on Thursday after a combustible Australian Open defeat in which he was warned for swearing and slammed the umpire as an “idiot”.
The intensely competitive Australian, roared on by a partisan crowd, couldn’t live with David Ferrer and he went down 2-6, 4-6, 4-6 6-4 to exit....