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By Richard Pagliaro | Wednesday, November 4, 2015

 
Andy Murray

Andy Murray required just 58 minutes to dismiss Borna Coric and set up a Paris match with David Goffin, a preview of the Davis Cup final.

Photo credit: British Tennis

Short-term memory loss is a prerequisite for success on the ATP Tour.

Andy Murray showed muscle memory in Paris today.

Driven by desire for a fast start and memories of his straight-sets loss in their last meeting, Murray carved up Borna Coric, 6-1, 6-2 in a clinical performance at the BNP Paribas Masters Paris.

More: Djokovic Earns 18th Straight Win in Paris

The second-seeded Scot won 20 of 22 points played on his first serve and converted four of five break points dominating play from first ball to last.

The victory vaults Murray into a third-round meeting with David Goffin, who needed just 56 minutes to send qualifier Dusan Lajovic packing, 6-2, 6-2. The Murray-Goffin clash is a preview of this month's Davis Cup final when Belgium will host Great Britain on the red clay of Ghent, Belgium, November 27-29th.

Players don't live in the past, but some do learn from it.

The 18-year-old Croatian took the court carrying a 1-6 record versus Top 10 opponents this season. That one win was a 6-1, 6-3 beat-down of Murray in Dubai earlier this year.

It took Murray just nine minutes to build a 3-0 lead. He did it with a sturdy serve and by deconstructing Coric's forehand. The teenager struggled to tame that wing at the start, committing a pair of forehand errors then slapping a smash straight into the tape to donate his opening service game.

Spinning the slider serve out wide to stretch Coric, Murray breezed through 12 of the first 14 points played on serve extending the lead to 4-1.

The challenge Coric faced was considerable. How do you beat an opponent who's doing everything better and doing it quicker, too?

When the 46th-ranked Croatian tried to change the pace with the slice backhand, Murray's slice was sharper. When Coric tried to change direction down the line, Murray beat him to the punch.

It all added up to a thorough thrashing. Murray won 12 of the last 13 points surging to a one-set lead after 27 minutes.

The youngest man in the Top 50 showed some tenacity grinding through some physical rallies to hold for a 2-1 second-set advantage.

Coric's two-handed backhand can be a stinging shot. Murray delivered a backhand clinic in the fifth game.

Jabbing a defensive slice deep down the middle, the Scot unloaded a sweeping backhand drive down the line for break point. Creeping forward to take a return on the rise, Murray jammed a jumping backhand return crosscourt, reminiscent of the young Marcelo Rios, breaking for 3-2.


 

A photo posted by @bnpparibasmasters on


The sixth game saw one of the best exchanges of the match, as Murray tormented Coric with touch, including a drop shot and lob, eventually drawing a running error for 4-2.

Two semifinal appearances and 26 wins on the season aren't the only assets in Coric's portfolio of potential. He moves well, can change the pace and can drive the ball down the line, particularly off his backhand. But Murray battered Coric's forehand into running errors, coaxing a wild forehand to break for 5-2.

The Scot dropped just six points on serve wrapping up an impressive 58-minute victory. Grigor Dimitrov fended off all 10 break points he faced, edging 2014 US Open champion Marin Cilic, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (2), in a match devoid of a single service break. The 12th-seeded Cilic did not face a break point in the match. Dimitrov will face eighth-seeded David Ferrer for a quarterfinal spot. He defeated Ferrer for the only time in five meetings in the 2013 Stockholm Open final.

Kei Nishikori withstood 17 aces from Jeremy Chardy in a 7-6 (4), 6-7 (6), 6-1 victory. The seventh-ranked Japanese will face another Frenchman, Richard Gasquet, next. The 10th-seeded Gasquet permitted just seven points on serve in a 6-2, 7-5 win over Leonardo Mayer.


 

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