Andy Murray produced the kind of imperious form that has propelled him into two grand slam finals this year as he beat Taiwan’s Lu Yen-hsun 6-3 6-2 6-1 in the Wimbledon second round on Thursday.
Lu, the son of a chicken farmer, ruffled a few feathers on Centre Court when he jumped out to a 2-0 lead before extending it to 3-1 in the opening set.
However, once Murray had levelled for 3-3, it did not take him long to clip his rival’s wings.
From 3-2 up in the second set, Murray won seven games on the trot as Lu struggled to find a way to keep pace with Murray’s potent groundstrokes as he breezed through the third set.
“It’s always difficult to know how close you are to being your best. But I was hitting the ball clean. I was happy with how I played,” said the world No.2, who will next face Australian John Millman.
France’s Nicolas Mahut knocked off Spain’s David Ferrer, the No. 13 seed, in straight sets, while Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin beat another Spaniard, Nicolas Almagro.
The Mahut-Ferrer match had been suspended due to rain on Wednesday, with the Frenchman up 3-1.
When play resumed, Mahut got going quickly, rolling to a 6-1 6-4 6-3 win.
Unseeded Czech Jiri Vesely won a battle of the tiebreaks to sink Austrian eighth seed Dominic Thiem in three tough sets.
Thiem, whose top-10 ranking consolidated at the French Open with a run to the semi-finals, had won 18 of the 28 tiebreaks he has played this year while the 64th-ranked Czech had lost 12 of his 16.
But in a pulsating two-and-three-quarter hour encounter during which both players successfully varied their game, punctuating long baseline rallies with bouts of serve-and-volley and the occasional dropshot, the pressure of holding a misfiring serve eventually told on Thiem.
He conceded all three of the decisive points in Vesely’s 7-6 (7-4) 7-6(7-5) 7-6(7-3) win on forehand errors – having earlier passed up three break points in the 11th game of the first set.
The Czech will play Portuguese 31st seed Joao Sousa in the third round.
Serbian 25th seed Viktor Troicki blew his top at umpire Damiano Torella as he lost 3-6 6-3 6-3 2-6 6-3 to Spain’s Albert Ramos-Vinolas.
Ramos-Vinolas was serving for the match at 5-3 30-30 in the fifth set when his first serve was called out but immediately over-ruled by Italian Torella, handing the point to the Spaniard.
Troicki roared his disapproval and chased to retrieve the ball, marching towards Torella to show him that there was no white chalk on it and complaining bitterly that there was no way the ball could have hit the line.
When play resumed Troicki played a return long to end the contest and after shaking hands with his opponent, continued to berate the official.
After leaving the court Troicki headed directly to the referee’s office.