Andy Murray set to rally to his cause

ANDY Murray knows he will be going from one extreme to the other when he takes on Portugal's Joao Sousa in the third round of the Australian Open.

The Scot is coming off a 6-0 6-4 6-1 win over big-serving Aussie Sam Groth - a match that saw the No.2 seed produce a highlight reel of superb passing shots and lobs.

This time around he knows he will need a very different type of game plan.

"Preparation-wise, I worked on a lot of passing shots and lobs (against Groth) and did a lot on my return, because I knew that was going to be important," he said.

"In the next round those things will still be important, (but) I'm aware that there's going to be a lot of longer rallies and it's about being more solid and consistent from the back of the court."

Murray holds a 6-0 career advantage over Sousa, their most recent meeting finishing in a four-set win in last year's French Open.

Despite that record, Sousa said he believed he was getting closer to beating the Scot.

He also said he had spent a week training in Majorca with 14-time grand slam champion Rafael Nadal in the off-season to help prepare for the first major of the year.

"We did great work," the world No.33 said.

"We worked very hard. It was a great week and a great level of tennis. It was a shame that Rafa lost his first-round match here. We really worked well there and as his friend, of course, I feel sorry for him."

Sousa beat Kazakhstan's Mikhail Kukushkin in the first round, and Colombia's Santiago Giraldo 6-3 7-5 3-6 6-1 in the second round.

He is playing in his fourth Australian Open and also reached the third round last year.



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