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Merciless Murray roars into second round at Melbourne Park

Andy Murray of Britain hits a return to Robin Haase of Netherlands during their men's singles match at the Australian Open tennis tournament
Andy Murray of Britain hits a return to Robin Haase of Netherlands during their men's singles match at the Australian Open tennis tournament

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Andy Murray launched his bid for a second successive grand slam trophy with a crushing 6-3 6-1 6-3 over Dutchman Robin Haase to charge into the second round of the Australian Open on Tuesday.

The 25-year-old Briton, who captured a long-awaited major title at the U.S. Open last year, charged out of the blocks against the 53rd-ranked Haase, capturing an early break in each set and wrapping up the match in a quick-fire 97 minutes.

Haase had previously proved a handful for Murray, taking him to five sets in the 2011 U.S. Open and beating the Scot in their only other match at Rotterdam in 2008.

But the 25-year-old Dutchman never threatened in the sunshine at Rod Laver Arena, blowing five out of seven break points and blasting a forehand long to allow Murray to seal the match.

Murray, twice a finalist at Melbourne Park, will next play Australian wildcard John-Patrick Smith or Portugal's Joao Sousa.

(Reporting by Ian Ransom; editing by Peter Rutheford)

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