By Britwatch Team

  • Andy Murray defeats Mikhail Kukushkin 6-3 6-3
  • He will play Jeremy Chardy in round three

ROME, ITALY- Andy Murray is through to Jeremy Chardy in the third round of the Italian open after a straight sets win over Mikhail Kukushkin.

The Brit did not lose his serve as he dispatched the Kazakh qualifier 6-3, 6-3 in an hour and 25 minutes.

Murray was playing his first match since the split with Amelie Mauresmo was made official, but it was business as usual for the 28 year old.

It only took the Scot two games to start working on his opponent’s serve, but Kukushkin was able to fend off two break points. Murray was able to hold serve with ease in the first set, and his breakthrough came at 4-3 where he was able to break the Kazakh’s serve and serve out the set 6-3.

It only took the Brit a further three games to find the breakthrough in the second. Kukushkin threatened to break back at 3-2, but Murray was able to save 15-40 to hold for 4-2. The Brit managed to break again at 5-3 to secure a place in the third round.

Assistant coach Jamie Delgado and Davis Cup Captain Leon Smith were in Murray’s box today, but there is still no news on a possible replacement coach.

“I haven’t thought loads about it,” he told Sky Sports.

“The thing with the top players, the super coaches, is that experience around the major events and the big matches, understanding the stress and pressure and how to deal with that.

“But I made some technical changes on my serve over the last couple of months and that’s taken my game up a level.

“The ex-players don’t tend to be technical coaches, so it’s tough to pick.”

Murray will face Chardy in the third round after the Frenchman defeated Bautista Agut in straight sets 7-6(6), 6-4. The Spaniard was led 4-3 in the first but was broken back by Chardy who went on to take the tiebreaker 8-6, saving three set points in the process. The second set went to serve until the very end where Chardy was able to break to claim the match in straight sets.

The Frenchman has a big game and when firing can trouble any player on his day. However, he struggles with consistency. Murray holds a 7-1 head to head lead including a victory in Rome last year. Chardy’s only victory came in Cincinnati back in 2012.

Murray will play Chardy on Thursday

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