Andy Murray will continue his title quest in Rotterdam on Thursday with a second round clash against Austrian youngster Dominic Thiem.
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Murray was in fine form in the first round, recording a routine-looking 6-3, 6-3 win against an in-form Edouard Roger-Vasselin. The Frenchman has made the best start to a season of his entire career, yet Murray held every service game that he played and managed to get through the contest with minimal fuss. Murray's consistency behind his second serve - an area of his game that has been criticised in the past - ended up giving him the edge.
Murray's next opponent will be up-and-coming Austrian Thiem. The 20-year-old has been making a name for himself over the past year and he's further added to his reputation with some encouraging displays in Rotterdam. After qualifying for the main draw, Thiem was able to earn a place in the last sixteen with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 victory over World No. 36 Jarkko Nieminen.
Thiem is quite new to the tour (he's only played 17 matches at the top level) and this will be his first competitive meeting with Murray. Whilst the future looks bright for the Austrian, at this stage in his career he's only won 8 ATP matches and doesn't quite look ready to beat a player such as Murray. Still, it speaks volumes that he could get the better of a capable and experienced pro like Nieminen.
Murray should be prepared for an enthusiastic resistance from his opponent on Thursday, but this doesn't change the fact that a straight sets win for the Brit appears to be the most realistic outcome of this match. Murray is showing flashes of his best form again following his back injury. It looks like a quarter-final meeting with Marin Cilic is on the cards.