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Muzza motors past Chela with emphatic win

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Originally published on: 26/02/10 11:33

As far as statements of intent go, Andy Murray couldn’t have been any clearer about his improvement on clay, brushing aside Juan Ignacio Chela in the first round at Roland Garros 6-2 6-2 6-1.

The former French Open quarter-finalist had been expected to be a tough first-round opponent for the British No.1 on his least favourite surface.

But after losing his opening service game, the world No.3 began to show just how much he has improved on clay, hitting winners seemingly at will from both flanks as the Argentine’s lack of match practice in recent times gradually caught up with him.

Having reached the semi-finals in the Monte Carlo Masters and the last eight in Madrid, Murray can rightfully claim to be getting to grips with the surface – and the blistering conditions in Paris would certainly have helped his confidence.

He quickly recovered that early break to reel off four games on the trot on his way to claiming the first set. The second followed a similar pattern, although this time the Scot held his serve in the opening game after battling back from 0-40 down.

Chela, once world No.15 but now outside the top 200 following eight months on the sidelines, never threatened a recovery, despite finding some joy in dispatching the Scot’s second serve with concerning regularity, and breaking at 5-1 down before being broken himself a game later.

In the end, however, Murray cruised to a straight sets victory. The third set was a procession, with two breaks easing the No.3 seed into the second round after one hour and 43 minutes on Suzanne Lenglen court.

Murray will face either Mischa Zverev or Potito Starace in round two.

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