Australian Open: Andy Murray in cruise mode

Andy Murray

The World No1 was dragged into the match-fixing scandal on Wednesday by an Italian newspaper and forced to deny allegations of throwing a match in 2007.

Murray has spent the last 18 months trying to dethrone the Serb as the king of tennis but his chief response was sympathy.

He said: “For anyone who is innocent, whose name gets talked about with that stuff, then you for sure feel sorry for them if they have done nothing wrong.

“Especially during an event like this, it’s very distracting but you also want to be completing in a clean sport as well.

“So sometimes asking questions and the players being open about it and responding to it and the people who are high up in the ATP and the ITF and Tennis Integrity Unit also talking about it, is a good thing.

“Maybe some people see it as a negative for the sport in some ways. I think some positives can come from it as well, providing the appropriate people act in the right way and are proactive with whatever they are doing moving forward.”

Murray was speaking after thrashing big-serving Australian Sam Groth 6-0 6-4 6-1 in the second round.

World 67th ranked Groth had never played in the Rod Laver Arena before and looked poleaxed by nerves before getting his first game on the board after 43 minutes and then making Murray work a bit harder.

Tomorrow he faces Portugal’s Joao Sousa, who he has in beaten all their six matches, dropping only one set.

But Murray knows Sousa will give him a game, saying: “He’s a very good mover, a good athlete. He knows how to win.”

Fellow Brit Johanna Konta moved into the world’s top 40 for the first time by beating Zheng Saisai 6-2 6-3 to reach the third round.

Now ranked 38th, Konta will match her best result at a Grand Slam if she beats Denisa Allertova in the next round.

Aussie legend Lleyton Hewitt finally brought his glittering career to an end, losing to David Ferrer 6-2 6-4 6-4 in the second round to signal his retirement.

“I’ve loved every minute of playing for Australia, wearing the green and gold,” Hewitt said.

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