Andy Murray remains optimistic about the ankle injury that threatens to derail his bid to win the Australian Open.
Murray rolled over on his right foot during his second round thrashing of Russian teenager Andrey Rublev, losing balance as he reached for a forehand and tumbling to the floor.
He took treatment from a physio at the next change of ends and later told his box, “my foot is killing me”.
However, Murray appeared unhindered as he strolled through the final six games on Rod Laver Arena and sealed a 6-3 6-0 6-2 victory. He will now face American Sam Querrey in round three.
“I don’t know how bad it is,” Murray said afterwards.
“Just normally if it’s something severe, like a serious ankle injury, you can’t put weight on your foot. With ankles, you normally feel a bit worse 20 or 30 minutes after you stop moving around on them.
“It’s a little bit stiff just now. It’s OK. I don’t think I’ve done too much damage.
“There’s not a whole lot you can do apart from icing just now. I’ll see in the morning how it feels when I wake up. But hopefully it will be all right.”
Murray said his foot had not yet become swollen but admitted he had felt concerned on court.
“I heard a few sort of little crackles and it was sore,” Murray said. “I was moving fine on it though towards the end of the match.”
Roger Federer admitted to feeling disappointed after scrapping his way to a 7-5 6-3 7-6 (7/3) victory over America’s Noah Rubin.
The 17-time grand slam champion will hope greater rhythm returns with more time spent on court given he now faces a far tougher challenge against world No 10 Tomas Berdych.
“I was just not doing what I was trying to do. I was hoping to play better at times,” said Federer.
Stan Wawrinka rebounded from his opening five-setter against Martin Klizan to ease past American Steve Johnson 6-3 6-4 6-4, while fifth seed Kei Nishikori beat Jeremy Chardy 6-3 6-4 6-3.
In the women’s draw, top seed Angelique Kerber struggled against Carina Witthoeft before emerging a 6-2 6-7 (3/7) 6-2 victor over her German compatriot.
At 36, Venus Williams is the oldest woman playing singles at Melbourne Park. She made her tournament debut in 1998 aged 17 and yesterday cruised into the second round with a 6-3 6-2 win over Stefanie Voegele.
French Open champion Garbine Muguruza edged a tight match against American Samantha Crawford 7-5 6-4 while eighth seed Svetlana Kuznetsova and 11th seed Elina Svitolina both enjoyed comfortable victories.