Andy Murray felt the potency of his serve was the difference as he moved into the third round of the Australian Open following a straight-sets victory over Illya Marchenko.
The British number one was not at his fluent best but always seemed to wriggle out of trouble, helped appreciably by 16 aces, as he downed the Ukrainian 6-1 6-3 6-3 in a little under two hours.
The serve has not always been the strongest facet of Murray's game but with Marchenko matching him off the ground, it came to the fore.
"I got a lot of free points on the first serve, which is important because from pretty much the first game he was swinging quite big on first-serve returns and the second serve," said Murray.
"I think once it got close, he started to miss more, because I didn't feel like I hit my second serve badly.
"A few of them I looked, the ball was bouncing so high, he was really trying to take them on.
"It was important to get free points off the serve."
Marchenko, ranked 79 in the world, promised "trouble" for the British number one beforehand but it never really materialised as Murray won through to a last-32 meeting with Spaniard Guillermo Garcia-Lopez tomorrow.
"There were parts of the match that were tight," said Murray. "But I played well. There were a lot of close games, a lot of 30-all games, deuce games, but I served well when I needed to really. That was the difference."
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