Andy Murray banished old memories of a heavy defeat to Guillermo Garcia-Lopez by cruising past the Spaniard 6-2, 6-0 on Wednesday night to reach the quarter-finals in Dubai for a fifth time in his career.
The world No1 needed just 72 minutes to take out Garcia-Lopez and described his form this week as “way better” than the start of the year.
Murray began his 2017 campaign by losing the Doha final to Novak Djokovic – which ended his 28-match winning streak – and then suffered a shock fourth round defeat to Mischa Zverev at the Australian Open.
After a five-week break, Murray returned to action in Dubai and has been convincing in his wins over Malek Jaziri and Garcia-Lopez in his first two rounds.
“It was way better than how I played at the beginning of the year, that's for sure,” Murray said on Wednesday after his second round win.
Murray was asked again about Sharapova & wildcards: Im extremely clear on how I feel about antidoping & yeah I dunno really what else to say— Reem Abulleil (@ReemAbulleil) March 1, 2017
World No1 Andy Murray and seven-time champion Roger Federer both feature in a glittering evening session at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.
Scot Murray faces Guillermo García-Lopez in the round of 16 at 7pm while Federer comes up against Russian qualifier Evgeny Donskoy after the completion of that match.
Fourth seed Gael Monfils and Dan Evans will also go head to head earlier in the day on Centre Court.
See the complete schedule below:
Barring an early hiccup, Andy Murray’s first round in Dubai was a fairly smooth success over Tunisian Malek Jaziri, who started well but could not sustain his level and later said he suffered from dizzy spells during the match on Tuesday.
Murray, competing in the Dubai tournament for the first time since 2015, needed just 79 minutes to skip past the 51st-ranked Jaziri 6-4, 6-1 and set up a second round with Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.
“The second set was obviously a bit easier. First set, especially the beginning, was tough. You know, first match is never easy, and playing someone who – you know, he goes for it and he takes chances,” said the world No1.
“So a little bit uneasy. I have never hit with him or played against him before. It took a little bit of time to get used to his game. But I played better as the match went on. The only thing I didn't do well was the first serve. I didn't hit my first serve that well. I'm not sure exactly why. Maybe first match under the lights, haven't practiced in those conditions since I have been here. The second serve was very good. The rest went well.”
Jaziri had the better start, putting pressure on the Murray serve and breaking first on a lucky net cord for a 2-1 lead.