Andy Murray eases into Japan Open quarter-finals

US Open champion Andy Murray maintained his impressive form in the defence of his Japan Open title with a straight sets victory over Lukas Lacko.


The Briton, 25, needed only 57 minutes to beat his Slovakian opponent 6-1 6-2.


Murray broke the world number 65 twice in the opening four games, concluding the opening set in 25 minutes.


Lacko offered slightly sterner resistance in the second but was unable to stop Murray setting up a quarter-final tie with Stanislas Wawrinka.


Wawrinka, the seventh seed, beat Jeremy Chardy of France 7-6 (7-1) 6-7 (6-7) 7-5.


The Swiss has won only four of his 12 previous matches against Murray and predicted a “tough” encounter against the British number one.


“He is playing great. He won the Olympics, he won the US Open and he always plays great here,” said the 27-year-old.


“It’s going to be tough, for sure. It’s always tough to play against top-five, top-four players. You need to focus on what you are going to do and try to play your best game.”


Murray broke to love in each of Lacko’s first two service games to race into a 5-0 lead in less than 20 minutes.


He went on to break in the third game of the second set and again in the seventh, taking all four of his break points, to serve out for a convincing win.