- ATP Tour
Murray powers on in Tokyo
Andy Murray remains on course for the defence of his Japan Open title as he cruised into the quarter-finals with victory over Lukas Lacko.
Playing in his first tournament since becoming US Open champion last month, Murray oozed confidence as he claimed a 6-1 6-2 victory in Tokyo's Ariake Colosseum.
Having successfully dispatched Ivo Karlovic on Tuesday, Murray got off to a flying start as he powered to a 5-0 lead, dropping just three points on serve.
Lacko avoided the whitewash as he held serve at the third time of asking, and briefly threatened to launch a comeback when two double faults from Murray handed him his first break point, but the Scot quickly rallied to wrap up the opening set.
Lacko provided greater resistance in the second, but he dropped his service game to love as Murray broke for a 2-1 lead, and the Brit was never in danger of relinquishing his advantage as he grabbed a double break before wrapping up the victory inside an hour.
Next up for Murray is seventh seed Stanislas Wawrinka after the Swiss navigated his way past Frenchman Jeremy Chardy. In an evenly-matched contest, Wawrinka grabbed a late break to secure a narrow 7-6(1) 6-7(6) 7-5.
In the day's first round action, Juan Monaco extended his winning streak with a resounding 6-2 6-1 win over Grigor Dimitrov. Monaco, who defeated Julien Benneteau to win the Malaysian Open last week, needed just 63 minutes to wrap up a comfortable win.
However it was not such plain sailing for third seed Janko Tipsarevic, who had to come from behind to defeat Gilles Simon 4-6 6-3 6-1.