Andy Murray moved into the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Rolex Masters after sweeping past Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-2 6-2 in just under an hour. Murray was scarcely troubled by Dolgopolov, who struggled to cope with the variety in the British player's game. Murray has still never lost a match at the Shanghai Masters event and he will be hoping that impressive record continues for the remainder of this week.
Murray, who coughed and spluttered throughout the match, never really got out of third gear, but the depth of his shotmaking ability was too much for Dolopolov. The Scot consistently mixed up the pace and spin on his groundstrokes and the world number twenty struggled to cope; never once looking like making in roads into the match. Even after breaking back the Murray serve to make it 2-2 in the second, he played a thoughtless service game straight after and was immediately broken again before Murray wrapped up the match with ease.
Murray will be particularly happy with his service statistics when he reflects on this performance. He won 83% of points on his first serve, making it extremely difficult for Dolgopolov to break and get into the match. The Ukrainian tried to hit winners, going for power rather than trying to match Murray's deft subtlety, but instead he made a series of unforced errors that rendered his task even more difficult.
Murray looks like a man playing with less pressure after finally securing his maiden Grand Slam title in New York. The weight of being one of the finest players never to have won a major has been lifted, and as a result he looks more confident in his ability. You get the distinct impression that the next couple of years could be very exciting for fans of Andy Murray.
After receiving a bye in the first round and a walkover in the second, Murray looks well rested ahead of his quarter-final with Radek Stepanek, who beat big-serving American John Isner in the surprise result of the day. Novak Djokovic, the winner of last weeks China Open in Beijing, also progressed after a straight sets victory over Fleciano Lopez. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beat Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus 6-2 7-6(2) and will play Tomas Berdych next after his 2-6, 7-6(3), 6-4 victory over Sam Querrey.
Follow Robert Pollard on Twitter: www.twitter.com/robpollard_