Murray cruises through in Rome


Andy Murray eased past Mikhail Kukushkin at the ATP Internazionali d'Italia in his first match since splitting with coach Amelie Mauresmo.

The British second seed overcame a stern early challenge to complete a 6-3 6-3 second-round triumph in Rome.

His clay-court victory came in the week he announced the end of his partnership with Mauresmo, his coach of almost two years.

Murray has never been beyond the semis in the Italian capital, while his latest win was his fourth in as many meetings with Kukushkin.

The 28-year-old used drop shots to move Kukushkin around early and the Kazakh had to fight off two break points in just the second game.

Kukushkin initially held his own in the baseline exchanges, but a scrambling Murray broke for 5-3 - following up an excellent lob with an easy winner after a poor volley from his opponent.

Murray dug himself out of a 15-30 hole to hold for the set, taking it in 44 minutes with his 13th winner.

When a Kukushkin backhand clipped the tape and went wide, Murray was in control early in the second before seeing out his win.