Overnight: Murray's crushing victory, Muguruza and Azarenka through, Verdasco crashes out
Day 4 at the Australian Open saw Andy Murray dominate his second round match, whilst Garbiñe Muguruza was just too good for Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium.
Murray smashes Aussie Groth in straight sets
Andy Murray beat Sam Groth – 6-0 6-4 6-1 – The Briton's impressive victory saw him barely raise a sweat, powering through against the Australian who had his first outing on Rod Laver Arena turn into a nightmare.
Groth’s serving strengths were diminished as Murray’s return had the home crowd favourite on the back foot from the first serve of the match, with the Brit taking a crushing first set victory.
Andy Murray consoles Sam Groth - Australian Open 2016Reuters
Groth appeared to be slightly hampered by ankle trouble, but forced Murray into a few rallies and pushed him through the second set. Murray again raced out to unbeatable four game third set lead before Groth could respond.
Andy Murray at the Australian Open 2016AFP
Muguruza takes victory over Flipkens
Garbiñe Muguruza bt Kirsten Flipkens 6-4 6-2 – Into the third round for the Spaniard who took a little over an hour to knock over her opponent from Belgium. Flipkens throughout the first set pushed Muguruza into making errors with her returns, but couldn’t wrestle control of the contest.
The resistance was less in the second set, as Muguruza strung together consecutive points while Flipkens took out her frustrations, with the game slipping from her grasp, in a heated exchange with the umpire over a regulation line call.
"I'm extremely happy with today, Kirsten has a really different game and it can be tricky so I'm very happy to be in the third round," Muguruza said.
Azarenka serves her way past Kovinic
Victoria Azarenka bt Danka Kovinic 6-1 6-2 – The Belarussian took out her second round match against Danka Kovinic in style, launching through the tie in just 63 minutes. Azarenka’s serving was very strong, taking more than 64% of her points on her first attempts with the ball.
Kovinic’s 22 unforced errors proved fatal, losing many rallies by being unable to combat Azarekna’s backhand game.
Fernando Verdasco, conqueror of Nadal, goes out
Dudi Sela (Israel) beat Fernando Verdasco (Spain) 4-6 6-3 6-3 7-6(4) - Fernando Verdasco's moment in the spotlight at Melbourne Park lasted just two days: after knocking fifth seed Rafa Nadal out on Tuesday, he himself fell to Israel's Dudi Sela in the second round. Verdasco's tournament appeared to be carrying on to plan after he took the first set, but thereafter he flagged - perhaps at the age of 32, still recovering from the five-set epic 48 hours earlier.
Verdasco's cause was not helped by consecutive double-faults in the fourth set tiebreak, gifting Sela a 5-2 lead. He managed to save a match point but finished the job with a well-struck backhand return that Verdasco netted.
Sela, 30, will now play Frenchman Jeremy Chardy or Russian Andrey Kuznetsov for a place in the fourth round of a grand slam for only the second time in his career.
Dudi Sela of Israel celebrates beating Fernando Verdasco of SpainReuters
Johanna Konta continues progress
Johanna Konta (Britain) beat Zheng Saisai (China) 6-2 6-3 - Britain's Johanna Konta kept up the momentum following her win over Venus Williams on Tuesday as she breezed past China's Zheng Saisai, the world number 83. Next up for the British number one is Czech Republic world number 66 Denisa Allertova.
Former world number one Jelena Jankovic out
Laura Siegemund (Germany) beat 19-Jelena Jankovic (Serbia) 3-6 7-6(5) 6-4 - Germany's Laura Siegemund, the world number 97, rallied from a set down to progress to round three with a 3-6 7-6(5) 6-4 win over Serbian 19th seed and former world number one Jelena Jankovic.
Monfils near-perfect as he makes third round
23-Gael Monfils (France) beat Nicolas Mahut (France) 7-5 6-4 6-1 - Gael Monfils made only 10 unforced errors as he won the all-French clash against Nicolas Mahut 7-5 6-4 6-1 on Margaret Court Arena. The first man from the bottom half of the draw into the third round, Monfils next plays another compatriot in Stephane Robert or American Rajeev Ram.
Dudi Sela (Israel) beat Fernando Verdasco (Spain) 4-6 6-3 6-3 7-6(4)
Stephane Robert (France) beat Rajeev Ram (U.S.) 6-1 6-7(6) 4-6 7-5 7-5
2-Andy Murray (Britain) beat Samuel Groth (Australia) 6-0 6-4 6-1
32-Joao Sousa (Portugal) beat Santiago Giraldo (Colombia) 6-3 7-5 3-6 6-1
23-Gael Monfils (France) beat Nicolas Mahut (France) 7-5 6-4 6-1
15-Madison Keys (U.S.) beat Yaroslava Shvedova (Kazakhstan) 6-7(4) 6-3 6-3
Laura Siegemund (Germany) beat 19-Jelena Jankovic (Serbia) 3-6 7-6(5) 6-4
Madison Brengle (U.S.) beat Johanna Larsson (Sweden) 7-5 4-6 6-1
Denisa Allertova (Czech Republic) beat 30-Sabine Lisicki (Germany) 6-3 2-6 6-4
14-Victoria Azarenka (Belarus) beat Danka Kovinic (Montenegro) 6-1 6-2
3-Garbine Muguruza Blanco (Spain) beat Kirsten Flipkens (Belgium) 6-4 6-2
Barbora Strycova (Czech Republic) beat Vania King (U.S.) 7-6(5) 6-4
Varvara Lepchenko (U.S.) beat Lara Arruabarrena Vecino (Spain) 7-6(7) 6-4
Johanna Konta (Britain) beat Zheng Saisai (China) 6-2 6-3
20-Ana Ivanovic (Serbia) beat Anastasija Sevastova (Latvia) 6-3 6-3