Andy Murray beats Vincent Millot at Australian Open

Andy Murray came through another day of punishing heat at the Australian Open with a straight-sets win over Frenchman Vincent Millot.

The Briton won 6-2 6-2 7-5 in the final match of the day on Rod Laver Arena, sealing victory at 23:58 local time.

He will play 26th seed Feliciano Lopez of Spain in Saturday's third round.

Murray admitted before the match he knew little about the 5ft 8in left-handed qualifier, ranked 267th, who had his first Grand Slam win in round one.

Analysis

"The sight of Millot orchestrating the crowd when 5-1 up in the third set inspired Murray to get the job done before midnight.

"To win the last 23 points of the match is simply phenomenal, even if he served poorly by his standards in the opening couple of sets.

"The humidity was high, so Murray will be pleased to have banked another two hours of matchplay before the tougher challenge of Lopez on Saturday."

It was the biggest match of Millot's life and over the course of two hours he transformed from a nervous wreck into a stadium court showman, orchestrating the crowd, before Murray won the last 23 points in a row to end his fun.

"I didn't really care about winning 23 points in a row," Murray said afterwards.

"I wanted to win the match. I'm glad I finished it there, because it was very, very hard conditions. Even in the evening it was so humid.

"After they closed the roof they obviously had the rain and the thunderstorms - it changed the way the court and the balls played a lot.

"It was heavier and a lot of balls went into the net. It slowed everything down a bit. I just was glad to get off. I'm still pouring with sweat now."

Play had been suspended during the afternoon after the 'extreme heat policy' was implemented as the temperature peaked at 43C.

Murray had the benefit of starting his match at just before 22:00 local time with the temperature at 28C, although following an earlier rain shower the humidity had rocketed and conditions remained testing.

The Wimbledon champion was a double-break up after just 11 minutes without having hit a winner, the quality of his groundstrokes contributing to 10 errors from a stage-struck opponent.

Match stats

Murray Millot

5

Aces

2

5

Double faults

7

59

1st serve %

55

80

1st serve win %

46

55

2nd serve win %

44

8/17

Break points

3/4

25

Winners

22

31

Unforced errors

55

Murray was exasperated when he handed one of those breaks back minutes later with two double-faults in a slack game, but a rasping backhand winner restored the advantage at 4-1 and confirmed the contest was his to dictate.

Millot looked increasingly out of his depth as the opening set slipped by in 36 minutes and his chances dimmed further when he took a medical timeout after 75 minutes for treatment on his calf.

Murray took the opportunity to head off court and change his shirt before returning to clinch the second set with a love hold.

Millot's moment in the spotlight appeared to be rapidly coming to an end but he was clearly determined to leave his mark, bowing theatrically to the crowd on holding serve before a spell of flashing winners that earned him two breaks and a 5-1 lead in the third set.

Keen to avoid a prolonged encounter in only his fourth competitive match since undergoing back surgery in September, Murray decided enough was enough.

From set point down, the Scot reeled off an amazing 23 unanswered points and six games to secure the win.

"I'm through to the third round and I haven't lost a set yet," added Murray.

"I don't know what else could have been expected of me. I wasn't expecting to play perfect tennis and play great straight away.

"I played well in my first match; today, not so well. That's what it's going to be like for me now. I'm going to have ups and downs. I've just got to get through them and the consistency will come."