Australian Open: Andy Murray beats Joao Sousa to reach last-16

Andy Murray is through to the final 16 of the Australian Open after beating Joao Sousa in straight sets.

Murray will now meet Grigor Dimitrov in the fourth round.

Murray had played his first two matches on Margaret Court Arena and won both in straight sets to set up a third-round clash with Portugal’s Sousa, who knocked out 32nd seed Martin Klizan.

 The sixth seed was required to switch to Hisense Arena on Friday but found the new surroundings equally to his liking with a convincing 6-1 6-1 7-5 victory.

Following a stuttering start, Murray pounced in the fourth game to break his opponent, whom he has beaten in all three of their previous encounters.

The Scot secured a double-break to make it four games in a row before serving out the opening set in 31 minutes on a packed Hisense Arena.

Two-time Grand Slam champion Murray started to produce an array of his best shots, flattening out his forehand and striking the ball beautifully.

He broke early in the second for a 2-1 lead and quickly backed up the break with his first love hold of the match before securing a double-break to move even further ahead.

And to make matters worse for Sousa, the 25-year-old looked in severe pain from an injury to his left knee when he received treatment at 4-1 down.

It was one-way traffic and the three-time Melbourne finalist wrapped up the set by forcing more errors off the racket of his opponent.

The world No 55 was able to continue and managed to win his first game in eight on serve at the start of the third set, but Murray broke once more in the fourth game to leave Sousa with a mountain to climb to maintain his record of never having lost a five-set match in a Grand Slam.

A lapse in concentration cost the sixth seed a break of serve and his 4-1 lead was wiped away. He failed to take advantage of two match-points at 5-4, but a more aggressive Murray got the job done to wrap up victory in a little over two hours.

“I was up two sets to love and 4-1 and Joao came back into it and we played some very good points towards the end of the match,” said Murray.

“He competed very well and made it difficult in the end. It was a good match.

“I’ve had three quite quick matches which helps but you expect with every round they are going to get tougher so if you can conserve as much energy as possible that’s good.”

Murray will next meet Dimitrov, who ended Murray’s Wimbledon title defence in the quarter-finals last year.