Murray braced for second-round showdown with Groth


Four-time Australian Open runner-up Andy Murray knows he will have to be at his best against big-serving local Sam Groth as he bids to continue his quest for a breakthrough title at Melbourne Park.

Murray booked his spot in the second round with a 6-1 6-2 6-3 win over German teenager Alexander Zverev on Tuesday.

The second-seeded Murray was untroubled as he dominated from the baseline in a match lasting two hours and seven minutes in the Melbourne heat.

Afterwards, Murray said: "It was hot, especially in the end of the second set and third set. It was a bit cloudy at the start, so it wasn't actually too bad.

"But then towards the end it started to heat up. Third set was a long one. We played a lot of long games, especially on his serve.

"I think I could have done a little bit better job of closing the match out a little bit sooner, because I did have chances to go up a double break. I think I had three games in a row 0-30 and break points as well.

"But I played well. I played a good match. Just could have been a bit more efficient in the third set, I think."

With a strong local following behind him, Australian Groth has already promised to take the match to Murray following his four-set win against Adrian Mannarino on Tuesday.

And Murray - who has been close but yet so far in his bid for an elusive Australian Open crown, having fallen short in 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2015 - is braced for an onslaught in the pair's first singles meeting.

"He's a big guy. Serves big and serve-and-volley tactics. He tries to get forward as much as he can. You don't see many players like that now," the Brit added.

"That will be different. Obviously he will have the crowd behind him, as well. He's a competitive guy, too. Fights extremely hard. Has a great attitude. He will make it tough for me because he has a different game style to a lot of the players now.

"I'll be ready for that. I normally enjoy playing against the guys that come forward and stuff, so hopefully I can return well and pass well. I'll need to if I want to win."