Murray broke three times in the first set, twice in the second and once in the third, and was able to hold off the rising support from the crowd in third set, holding his nerve despite serving second throughout, and taking the match on a tense tiebreak after spurning two match point opportunities.
On the whole, it was a comfortable win for the Brit, who raced into the lead in the first set, breaking Tomic in the first game and going 2-0 up. But the Aussie hit back and levelled at 2-2, then another set of breaks were exchanged before Murray finally got his nose in front permanently and served out the set, 6-4.
Murray broke early in the second too, taking a 5-1 lead before Tomic forced the Brit to serve out the set. Murray failed to do so with an uncharacteristic wobble, but didn’t need asking twice after Tomic clawed back to 5-4, making no mistake second time around to go two sets to the good.
Again Murray took an early advantage in the third set but Tomic pegged him back once more, with both players serving well to hold up until the third set tiebreak. Murray edged in front and led 4-2 at the change of ends, before two exceptional points gave him 4 match points at 6-2. Tomic saved two, but Murray served big on the third and closed out the match convincingly.
The signs look good for the Brit – while Novak Djokovic made 100 unforced errors in his five set thriller with Gilles Simon yesterday, Murray made just 22 in the match, with only 3 in the final set. With 18 aces, 73% of first serve points won and just the one double fault, Murray is staking a huge claim to the first Grand Slam title of the year. Next up: David Ferrer. Murray currently leads their head-to-head 12-6.