Melbourne – British fourth seed Andy Murray finished strongly to beat French qualifier Vincent Millot in straight sets and reach the third round at the Australian Open on Thursday.

Murray, a three-time beaten finalist in Melbourne, downed Millot 6-2, 6-2, 7-5 in just over two hours.

Murray was down two breaks in the final set against the 267th-ranked Millot, but reeled off the last 23 consecutive points to get a double break and serve out for the match.

The Scot ran through the first two sets but encountered stiffer resistance from the French left-hander, who won his first Grand Slam match in the opening round against American Wayne Odesnik.

“I've been in the final here three times and this is the tournament I love and I want to try and win,” he said after advancing.

“I don't know if this will be the year, but I'll try my best.”

Murray said Millot had played “unbelievable” early in the final set.

“It was unbelievable the way he played and he was stepping up to the baseline on every shot and hitting winners. So I had to adjust the way I was playing a little bit.

“He's ranked around 270 in the world, so it shows the great depth in men's tennis right now.”

Murray broke Millot's serve eight times and lost his service three times, while hitting 25 winners and 31 unforced errors. He will play Spanish 26th seed Feliciano Lopez in the third round. – AFP