Andy Murray eased into the quarter-finals of the 2016 Australian Open with a 6-4, 6-4, 7-6(4) victory over Bernard Tomic on Monday.
The Australian caused Murray few problems early on and, despite a late rally in the third set, could not prevent the Scot advancing to face David Ferrer in the last eight.
Murray never really had to move into top gear, but he produced some solid defence to take the victory after Tomic belatedly whipped the crowd into life in the third.
SI Tennis confirmed the result as Murray continued his excellent career form at the Australian Open:
SI Tennis @SI_Tennis
No. 2-seed Andy Murray advances to his 7th straight #AusOpen QF, defeats Bernard Tomic 64 64 76(4). Plays Ferrer next.1/25/2016, 11:06:57 AM
Murray's plan was clear from the off as he made Tomic run from the start, executing a couple of excellent drop shots as he broke the Australian's serve in the first game of the match.
It was an odd opening set with the pair sharing four more breaks of serve in the the subsequent nine games, but Murray always looked to have the set in his hands.
The world No. 2 was broken twice, but having immediately regained his advantage when Tomic achieved parity at 2-2, the set was only heading one way.
He served out the opener for 6-4, the stats showing his dominance as he out-gunned Tomic in both winners and aces—17-8 and 8-3, respectively, per the Australian Open.
The procession of breaks continued in the second set as a brilliant backhand saw Murray go 1-0 up on Tomic's serve, only for the world No. 17 to even things up as his forehand began to fire.
However, a convincing break to love for Murray saw him edge in front again.
The Scot's intensity seemed to drop slightly around the end of the first and beginning of the second set, but he clearly regained it as he convincingly pressed home his advantage.
While Tomic finally ran a few service holds together, he could do little to stop Murray powering to a two-set advantage, per Eurosport UK TV:
Eurosport UK @EurosportUKTV
Two down, one to go! Murray needs one more set vs Tomic to become 2nd @BritishTennis player in #AusOpen 1/4 finals https://t.co/45ZYpoaNvr1/25/2016, 10:12:13 AM
The 23-year-old looked to be tiring, but he did not allow Murray to have it all his own way in the third set.
Tomic produced a rank service game to go 2-1 down, but he then went up a gear to break back as he increased the aggression and produced some of his best tennis of the match.
He maintained his high level impressively and forced a tiebreak despite a barrage from Murray at deuce in the 11th game of the set.
Murray proved too good in the end, though, and he claimed the tiebreaker 7-4 on his third match point to seal the victory in two-and-a-half hours.
Murray described the contest as "scrappy" following his victory, per the Australian Open:
Murray: "Both of us had our chances. I was just able to make a few more balls. It was a scrappy match" #AusOpen1/25/2016, 11:09:48 AM
There is little question that the second seed will need to up his game when he faces Ferrer, but he did what he had to on Monday to book his place in the last eight.
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