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Tennis: Murray downs Lopez to reach fourth round at Open

British fourth seed Andy Murray defeated Spain's Feliciano Lopez in straight sets to reach the fourth round at the Australian Open on Saturday.

MELBOURNE: British fourth seed Andy Murray defeated Spain's Feliciano Lopez in straight sets to reach the fourth round at the Australian Open on Saturday.

Murray, a three-time finalist in Melbourne, won 7-6 (7/2), 6-4, 6-2 in two hours 15 minutes on Hisense Arena.

It continued Murray's dominance of the left-hander as he stretched his winning sequence to 8-0 over Lopez in their matches.

The Scot, who has lost twice to Novak Djokovic and once to Roger Federer in Australian finals, will now face French lucky loser Stephane Robert in the round of 16.

Once Murray won the opening set tiebreaker in 65 minutes it was all one way as the Wimbledon champion broke Lopez's serve a total of four times to wrap up a convincing victory.

Murray, who had back surgery in September, briefly appeared in pain early in the first set, but through the match he moved unhindered to progress through to the last 16.

The Scot missed the rest of last season after his surgery and his preparations for Melbourne were not encouraging.

The world number four crashed out in the second round of the Qatar Open to German Florian Mayer, the world number 38, and then went down to veteran Australian Lleyton Hewitt in an exhibition match.

But during the Australian Open, he said it was the best he had felt on court for 18 months with the long-standing back injury completely healed.

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