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Lawn Tennis: Murray proves he can play on clay.

ON a day when a gusting wind played tricks on the world's finest tennis players, Andy Murray rustled up something of a whirlwind of his own.

Murray fairly motored into the third round of the French Open with his best performance on clay to date, beating Argentinian Jose Acasuso 6-4 6-0 6-4 in just one hour and 38 minutes.

By any measure that is a man in a hurry, and coming after his five-set, first-round tribulations against 17-year-old French wild card Jonathan Eysseric, it was an impressive transformation by a player who admitted he had something to prove.

Murray said: "I felt my performances on clay have been decent this year but I keep getting questioned why I'm not doing better. I wanted to show I could beat a good clay court player.

"Acasuso might not be a Federer or a Nadal but I showed I can play on clay. I wanted to show to myself I can do it.

"To win in straight sets, not lose my serve and break five or six times doesn't happen too often. It's not too often a match goes as well as that.

"I'm very pleased, it was a great performance. I was very aggressive and my shot selection was great."

Third seed Novak Djokovic upped his game considerably to breeze into the third round, seeing off Denis Gremelmayr in four sets.

Rafael Nadal chipped away at history when he took his place in the second round of the French Open with his 22nd consecutive winning match at Roland Garros.

The defending champion secured a straight sets win over Thomaz Bellucci, a 20-year-old Brazilian qualifier.

Radek Stepanek eased to a 6-2 6-4 6-1 victory over France's Gilles Simon, while Maria Sharapova was given a scare but reached the second round with a 6-1 3-6 8-6 win over fellow Russian Evgeniya Rodina

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British number one Andy Murray
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:May 29, 2008
Words:315
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