Australian Open

Murray motors, Soderling out

2011-01-24 07:10
Andy Murray (AP)
Melbourne - Britain's Andy Murray moved seamlessly into the Australian Open quarter-finals on Monday as Sweden's Robin Soderling was left cursing the return of his Melbourne jinx.

Women's number two Vera Zvonareva made smooth progress and was joined in the year's first Grand Slam quarters by Petra Kvitova, who scrapped through three sets against Italy's Flavia Pennetta.

Murray, last year's beaten finalist, barely gave frustrated Austrian Jurgen Melzer a look in his 6-3, 6-1, 6-1 defeat, which maintained British hopes of ending a men's Grand Slam drought which stretches back to 1936.

Despite the straightforward 6-3, 6-1, 6-1 win in 1hr 44min, which set up a clash with Dolgopolov, Murray refused to get carried away. The world number five, unbeaten this year, is into the last eight without dropping a set.

"I've played Jurgen in the Slams a few times, including here two years ago, and I was expecting a tough match and I was surprised by beating him in three sets," Murray said.

"I hit the ball well from the start of the match and I played some of my best tennis (here) last year. I don't want to get carried away as I haven't won this kind of thing (major) before."

Meanwhile 22-year-old Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov, the world number 46, produced the performance of his life to stun fourth seed Soderling and reach the quarter-finals on debut.

Dolgopolov fought back from a set down to shock Soderling, 1-6, 6-3, 6-1, 4-6, 6-2. The Swede, a two-time Grand Slam finalist, had been unbeaten all year and was considered a contender for his first major title.

But Soderling extended a dismal run at Melbourne Park which includes three first-round failures. Before this year, he had never won more than one match at any Australian Open.

"I've struggled many times in this tournament," Soderling said. "And I think, I never had a good first month (of the year) in my career."

Spanish baseliner David Ferrer finally accounted for 20-year-old Canadian Milos Raonic, ending a giant-killing run which announced him as a future tennis power.

Ferrer weathered an early storm to take it 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4. Big-serving Raonic had already beaten Michael Llodra and Mikhail Youzhny, the world number 22 and 10, and is now projected to break into the top 100.

Ferrer will now face either world number one Rafael Nadal or Croatia's Marin Cilic, who are in action later.

Nadal is bidding to become only the third man to hold all four Grand Slam titles at once after sweeping the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open, following his injury-induced retirement from last year's Melbourne quarters.

Women's second seed Zvonareva recovered from a slow start to ease past Iveta Benesova of the Czech Republic 6-4, 6-1 and move towards her third straight Grand Slam final, as she targets a maiden major win.

Zvonareva will next face the Czech Republic's Kvitova, who downed Italian 22nd seed Flavia Pennetta 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.

Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska saved two match points before defeating Peng Shuai in three sets, leaving Li Na as China's lone hope for a first Grand Slam singles title.

Radwanska will play the winner of US Open champion Kim Clijsters' evening match with Ekaterina Makarova.

Read more on:    australian open  |  andy murray


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