Murray & Robson advance, Baker falls after valiant qualifying effort

Blue Court


      By Ros Satar

MURRAY (GBR)  def HAASE (NED) 6-3 6-1 6-3

Andy Murray laid down his marker for the Australian Open title today, with a straight sets victory against Dutchman Robin Haase.

Murray had to combat Haase’s powerful clubbing forehand got an early break in the third game, and again in the fifth, moving Haase left to right before finishing him off with another break.

Haase did start to tee-off a little from Murray’s second serves, but the first set went to Murray.

Murray broke Haase again quite early in the second set, and Haase cut a dejected figure on the court throughout much of the set and it quickly got away from him.

Haase’s woes continued in the third as a string of unforced errors saw Murray break him in the first game.

Haase finally stopped the rot after a losing a run of seven straight games and seemed to have found his booming forehand again, beginning to peg Murray back.

A disastrous game when serving to stay in the match from Haase saw him broken to love, including his first double fault of the match.

Murray is on his way.

ROBSON (GBR) def OUDIN (USA) 6-2 6-3

Laura Robson joined British number one Heather Watson in the second round today, with a straight sets victory against American, Melanie Oudin.

Robson had raced to a 4-0 lead before Oudin settled into her game, finally getting on the scoreboard and again in her next service game, leaving Robson to serve for the first set.

There was no early break this time for Robson as Oudin started a little more brightly but to no avail as Robson turned the screws again, sealing a swift victory and setting up a second round clash with eighth seed and Wimbledon 2011 champion, Petra Kvitova.

ROSOL (CZE) def BAKER (GBR) 7-6(5) 7-5 6-2

After training with Andy Murray in Miami and an amazing qualifying run, Jamie Baker’s AO campaign ended at the hands of Czech Lukas Rosol, who defeated Rafael Nadal in Wimbledon 2012 R2.

Perhaps the lack of experience hindered Baker, who had been up a break in the first two sets but failed to hold on to his lead.

That Baker is playing at all is a testament to his resolve, after being diagnosed with a life-threatening blood condition in 2008.

Hopefully this will be a spur for him to push on for the rest of the year.