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Thursday August 7, 2014 MYT 3:42:02 AM
Thursday August 7, 2014 MYT 3:43:13 AM
by steve keating
TORONTO (Reuters) - Andy Murray got his North American hard court season off to a solid start with 6-2 6-2 second-round win over Australian teenager Nick Kyrgios at the Rogers Cup on Wednesday as the Briton targeted his first final in more than a year.
In his first action since a quarter-final loss at Wimbledon, Murray looked confident and sharp, disposing of his 19-year-old opponent in 54 minutes on a sunny centre court under the watchful eye of new coach Amelie Mauresmo.
Looking for a Canadian hat-trick after lifting the title in 2009 and 2010, Murray had to be wary of Kyrgios, who caught the world's attention last month when he knocked out world number one Rafa Nadal and number 14 Richard Gasquet on an unlikely march into the Wimbledon quarter-finals.
The young Australian, however, never threatened Murray and the eighth-seeded Briton was in control from the start, serving up seven aces, committing just 11 unforced errors and never facing a break point.
"I thought I did most things like pretty solid," Murray told reporters. "I didn't make too many errors. I moved well. High first-serve percentage.
"It was a solid match for a first match back after sort of four and a half, five weeks."
After a difficult 12 months during which he underwent back surgery and a coaching change, Murray's performance provided a small boost heading towards the U.S. Open and the year's final grand slam which begins on Aug. 25 at Flushing Meadows.
Murray declared himself pain free but the battle now is to get back to full match fitness if he is to challenge for a third grand slam title.
"I started to feel good, actually, just before the French Open," explained the world number nine, who has not appeared in a final since lifting the Wimbledon title in 2013.
"Back felt fine throughout the French Open and through the grasscourt season.
"The only problem was that kind of before that I was able to practise but not sort of train off the court, do the stuff in the gym that makes you physically strong.
"So when I was coming up against the better players, I was just lacking a little bit. But after Wimbledon, I went over to Miami and I really trained like I used to for the first time since the surgery and I felt much better."
If Murray reaches Sunday's final he will have earned it.
Next up for the Scotsman is a meeting with 12th-seeded Gasquet or Croatia's Ivo Karlovic followed by a possible quarter-final clash with world number one Novak Djokovic.
(Editing by Ed Osmond)
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