Ruthless Murray marches on

2013-06-28 21:23
Andy Murray (Getty Images)
London - Andy Murray has swept into the Wimbledon fourth round as the world number two maintained the perfect start to his title challenge with a 6-2, 6-4, 7-5 win over Spanish 32nd seed Tommy Robredo on Friday.

Murray's sights are firmly fixed on ending Britain's 77-year wait for a first male winner of the Wimbledon singles title since Fred Perry and his path to the title is becoming less fraught by the day.

The 26-year-old, who faces Russian 20th seed Mikhail Youzhny or Serbia's Viktor Troicki for a place in the last eight, hit 40 winners and served nine aces and hasn't dropped a set in his first three matches.

The tournament had barely started when Rafael Nadal, a potential semi-final opponent for Murray, suffered a stunning opening day defeat. And when Roger Federer, another likely last four foe, was eliminated on Wednesday, the Scot would have been forgiving for pinching himself to check he wasn't dreaming.

Throw in the injury withdrawals of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Marin Cilic and a third round defeat for 15th seed Nicolas Almagro and suddenly only a list of unheralded names stand between Murray and another Wimbledon final.

"I thought I struck the ball really well from the start of the match. I had a lot of winners and that was probably the most pleasing part," Murray said.

"The third set was a tough one so I've been tested and come through it well. I hope I can keep playing better.

"People are putting even more pressure on me because of the nature of how the draw has worked out.

"It would be a lot easier if we just concentrated on each match at a time.

"Upsets are never far away and you have to be very focused on your game to avoid that."

Murray has enjoyed a remarkable time since last year's tearful Wimbledon final defeat against Federer, following his Olympic gold medal triumph by defeating Novak Djokovic in the US Open final to finally claim his first Grand Slam crown.

The 26-year-old had reached the final of the last three Grand Slams before the recent French Open, which he was forced to miss with a back injury and few would bet against a fourth successive major final appearance.

Murray hardly put a foot wrong from the moment he walked out under the Centre Court roof.

Even the half-hour delay for the roof to be shut and subsequent change of court conditions couldn't fluster the increasingly imperious Murray.

He was in business-like mood and quickly began working over Robredo with some searing ground-strokes that brought a break in the third game of the match and another in the fifth.

With a 4-1 lead, Murray briefly lost concentration, allowing Robredo to break back. But that sparked a lethal response from the Scot, who broke again to take the set.

Murray kept his foot on the gas and broke in the opening game of the second set.

Robredo was finding it impossible to make any impact on Murray's potent serve as the British number one eased into a two-set lead.

Lacking the weapons to trouble Murray, it was only a matter of time before Robredo was put out of his misery and the Scot did just that when he broke late in third set to extend his winning run on grass to 14 matches.

Wimbledon results on Friday, the fifth day of the 2013 tournament (x denotes seeded player):

Men's singles

Third round

Adrian Mannarino (FRA) bt Dustin Brown (GER) 6-4, 6-2, 7-5
Jerzy Janowicz (POL x24) bt Nicolas Almagro (ESP x15) 7-6 (8/6), 6-3, 6-4
Jurgen Melzer (AUT) bt Sergiy Stakhovsky (UKR) 6-2, 2-6, 7-5, 6-3
Andy Murray (GBR x2) bt Tommy Robredo (ESP x32) 6-2, 6-4, 7-5

Second round

Jeremy Chardy (FRA x28) bt Jan-Lennard Struff (GER) 6-2, 5-7, 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (7/4)
Tommy Haas (GER x13) bt Jimmy Wang (TPE) 6-3, 6-2, 7-5
David Ferrer (ESP x4) bt Roberto Bautista (ESP) 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7/4), 7-5
Alexandr Dolgopolov (UKR x26) bt Santiago Giraldo (COL) 6-4, 7-5, 6-3
Grega Zemlja (SLO) bt Grigor Dimitrov (BUL x29) 3-6, 7-6 (7/4), 3-6, 6-4, 11-9

Women's singles

Third round

Marion Bartoli (FRA x15) bt Camila Giorgi (ITA) 6-4, 7-5
Karin Knapp (ITA) bt Michelle Larcher de Brito (POR) 7-5, 6-2
Carla Suarez Navarro(ESP x19) bt Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) 7-5, 6-2
Kirsten Flipkens (BEL x20) bt Vesna Doloncs (SRB) 6-4, 6-2
Flavia Pennetta (ITA) bt Alize Cornet (FRA x29) 0-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-2

Second round

Laura Robson (GBR) bt Mariana Duque-Marino (COL) 6-4, 6-1
Alison Riske (USA) bt Urszula Radwanska (POL) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
Kaia Kanepi (EST) bt Angelique Kerber (GER x7) 3-6, 7-6 (8/6), 6-3

Read more on:    wimbledon  |  andy murray  |  tennis

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