Wimbledon champion Andy Murray secured his place in the final 16 of the tennis after defeating Argentina’s Juan Monaco in straight sets yesterday.
With temperatures rising Murray cruised through the second round match in just 69 minutes, winning 6-3, 6-1.
The world number two will now face Italy’s Fabio Fognini later today, with the winner heading into the quarter-finals.
With a quick victory in the first game, Murray continued to dominate early and a slip by Monaco put the current gold medallist 2-0 up.
The Argentinian then took a brief pause with concerns surrounding the possibility of an old injury having flared back up.
With quick composure the world number 107 — who thrashed Bosnian Mizra Bašić in the first round — was showing no signs of defeat just yet.
By game four Murray was struggling with his own serve and pressure soon began to build in Barra da Tijuca.
Monaco fought hard in the first set winning three games against the Scot but the current gold medal holder was determined to defend his title and showed his dominance winning the first point in the second set.
The match itself didn’t go without its difficulties as the hot weather was proving an uncomfortable problem for both players, especially the Argentinian.
Meanwhile, Murray had twice voiced his fury at the flash photography coming from the crowds, with Portuguese chair umpire Carlos Ramos working with stewards to resolve the issue.
As the match progressed Murray became too strong and too consistent for the nine-time ATP title holder to contend with, but Monaco continued to show signs of spirit and ability up to the very end.
With play lasting a little over an hour, Murray showed everyone in the 6,000 strong crowd he was the hot favourite for the Olympic title.
“I played pretty well. I hit the ball well from the back of the court,” said the two-time Wimbledon champion.
“I didn’t make many unforced errors and it was a good match.”
After a crushing lost in the opening round of the men’s doubles with his brother Jamie Murray, Andy was in high spirits as the match came to a close and he progressed into the quarter-finals.
He said: “I didn’t use the doubles defeat as fuel. It made things harder if anything.
“It was a tough loss obviously and the way the match went was really tough so you’ve got to take it, move on and try your best the next day to win your matches and that’s it.
“I’ve played a lot of tennis. It’s been really hard to prepare here after the French Open and Wimbledon.
“I haven’t played a match on a hard court for five months so playing two matches every day is not easy on this surface and in these conditions.”
Britain also have Johanna Konta competing in the women’s singles who secured a place in the quarter finals after beating Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova in three sets last night.
Jamie may have lost his first doubles match to the Brazilian pair but he will have a final chance to secure a medal when he pairs with Konta for the mixed doubles later today.
Not only is Andy hoping to add another Olympic gold medal to his accolades but, similar to Jamie, he is eager to participate in the mixed doubles after winning silver with Laura Robson in London 2012.
With Jamie paired with Konta, Andy and 2016 Wimbledon mixed doubles champion Heather Watson are lined up for the event should anyone from the 16 teams competing withdraw.
“The plan was always for Jamie to play mixed with Jo and that was it,” said Murray.
“Jamie is a way more experienced doubles player than me and Jo is obviously playing well too.
“I think they have a good chance of winning a medal and there’s an outside shot that me and Heather could potentially get in as well.”
Andy’s fight for a men’s single quarter-final place will take place today at 5:45pm.
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