Murray shows title-winning form to silence Gulbis jibes

AN EMPHATIC victory, a standing ovation and the sound of his opponent&rsquo;s pre-match jibes drowned out by a rapturous Centre Court: it may only have been the second round, but British No1 Andy Murray could have asked for little more.<br /><br />There were no signs of animosity at the previous day&rsquo;s accusations of gamesmanship when Murray shook hands with Ernests Gulbis after outclassing the Latvian 6-2, 7-5, 6-3.<br /><br />But the zeal with which the third seed despatched the world No74 hinted that the war of words had stoked his hunger, and in doing so brought glimpses of the very best tennis Murray can produce.<br /><br />Having stuttered to victory in his first round match against American Robert Kendrick, Murray reminded the home crowd why he is a genuine contender to become the first British man to lift the singles title since 1936.<br /><br />The 22-year-old recovered from a patchy start to twice break the mercurial Gulbis &ndash; who had accused him of feigning injury in a previous meeting &ndash; on the way to taking the first set. Murray then found his rhythm, showcasing an array of shots to edge the second and wrap up the third &ndash; all in less than 90 minutes.<br /><br />&ldquo;After the start I relaxed and served really, really well &ndash; I didn&rsquo;t give him many opportunities at all,&rdquo; said the world No3. &ldquo;There was a few nerves in the first match but today I was more relaxed, the crowd got into it and there were some fun rallies.&rdquo;<br /><br />Murray faces Serbia&rsquo;s Viktor Troicki, ranked 31 in the world, in round three and the Scot admitted yesterday&rsquo;s performance raised his hopes of progressing to the later stages. He added: &ldquo;You never know when it comes to the tight moments against the top players you need to see how you react, but I serve like that for the rest of the tournament I&rsquo;ve got a great chance of doing well.&rdquo;<br /><br />Elsewhere in the men&rsquo;s draw, Argentina&rsquo;s Juan Martin del Potro became the highest seed to fall when he was beaten 6-3, 7-5, 7-5 by former champion Lleyton Hewitt. Injury has seen Australian Hewitt drop out of the top 50 in the last 12 months but he showed flashes of his best on his way to victory over the South American.<br /><br />Sixth seed Andy Roddick needed four sets to see off Russia Igor Kunitsyn, while eighth seed Gilles Simon beat Brazil&rsquo;s Thiago Alves.