Andy Murray
Murray upbeat after beating Feliciano Lopez in the third round of the Australian OpenReuters

Andy Murray has qualified for the last 16 of the 2014 Australian Open after registering a, 7-6, 6-4, 6-2 win against Feliciano Lopez in the third round.

Temperatures around Melbourne had dropped by half from the 40C that troubled the players on the third and fourth day of the tournament.

The fourth seed was stretched in the first set but brushed aside the Spaniard in subsequent sets to prevent an early exit from the competition. The Brit had beaten Vincent Millot in straight sets while Lopez beat Germany's Michael Berrer in their respective third round matches.

Neither player gave the other an easy ride at the Hisense Arena. But last year's runner-up managed to hold his nerve and took 65 minutes to edge past Lopez, winning the first set 7-6.

The 26-year-old gained the upper hand over his Spanish rival, winning the second set 6-4 in 42 minutes. Murray maintained his winning momentum keeping Lopez under pressure to achieve a 6-2 victory in the third set in less than half an hour.

Lopez's seven double faults cost him the tie. Murray registsered only two.

The 2013 Wimbledon winner will now meet Stephane Robert in the round of 16. Robert beat Martin Klizan, 6-0, 7-6, 6-4 in the previous round.

Murray will go into the game as the favourite against the Frenchman as the British No 1 looks to continue his march towards a fifth final in the last four years in Australia.