Andy Murray was a despondent figure on Monday night when he and his brother Jamie crashed out of the men’s doubles at the Rio Olympics.
It’s not a position that Murray has been in very often over the past few months, if fact you have to go back to the beginning of June to find the last time Murray was on the losing side, when he was denied by a certain Novak Djokovic in the final of the French Open.
Murray is still in the singles tournament in Rio, though, and is the clear favourite following Djokovic’s shock exit to Juan Martin Del Potro on the same extraordinary evening that the Murray’s were knocked out of the doubles.
But if there was any lingering disappointment after that defeat it didn’t show, as Murray swept past Argentine Juan Monaco 6-3 6-1 in a one-sided second round singles match.
Murray is now through to the last 16 where he will face either Italian Fabio Fognini or Frenchman Benoit Paire tomorrow.
The British number one won’t be looking past that match right now, but should he win Murray would be likely to come up against American Steve Johnson in the quarter-finals before a potential semi-final clash with fourth seed Kei Nishikori.
Murray looking at home on Rio hard courts
They will no doubt be tougher prospects, but on a slow hard court with plenty of run off area Murray is looking like a colossal force in Brazil.
Monaco was incapable of breaking through the Brit’s impermeable defences here and from the back of the court there was often only one winner.
Murray made the perfect start by breaking the Monaco serve in the second game match and he quickly raced into a 3-0 lead.
Monaco, a top ten player back in 2012, did respond and played some inspired tennis to win the next two games but from there it was one-way traffic.
Monaco has no answer
At 57 per cent, Murray’s first serve percentage was modest by his high standards at the end of the first set.
As it turned out that wasn’t such a decisive factor, as the British number one dictated the majority of the rallies with his heavy top spin and measured slice.
He finished the first set with an ace and quickly stole a stride at the start of second when Monaco missed a backhand to go down an early break.
From there it was straight forward for Murray, whose spirits will have been raised by a comprehensive victory.