Andy Murray’s tune up for the US Open continued to gather pace with a solid, but hard-fought 6-2 7-5 victory over the American, Alex Bogomolov Jr. With Flushing Meadows edging ever closer, this was an important victory, and another chance to acclimatise to conditions on the ultra quick hardcourts of north America.
Murray is under considerable pressure to get some gametime under his belt, and it was a more assured and confident performance that booked his spot in the last eight. Traits from the Nalbandian match like an inconsistent first serve, and the abstinence of approaching the net seemed to be abolished, as Murray exhibited his all-court credentials.
Of course, Bogomolov was one of the beneficiaries of Murray’s post Australian Open slump in Feburary. Earlier in 2011, Murray endured arguably the worst run of his career, but the Murray of today is, thankfully, a different animal.Read more (201 words)
Murray raced to a 4-0 lead in the first set, his ballstriking clearly improved from the first set against David Nalbandian. Bogomolov managed a few consolatory holds of serve, but he could not unlock Murray’s serve and the Scot cantered to the set, 6-2.
Things looked brighter than the Ohio sunshine, as Murray broke at the start of the second set, but this time, Bogomolov stopped Murray from consolidating. In the very next game, a devastating forehand crosscourt, Murray’s most lethal weapon of the match, set up a break point at 1-1, and a double fault from the American allowed Murray to edge ahead once more. The British number one wasn’t displaying the greatest of matchplay however, and he was unable to conserve his lead until the end of the set. Bogomolov rallied and extended the second set, which had its scary moments for Murray until he broke through for the kill.
There is no question that Murray could do with more matches to fine tune his game. The vast majority of the match was littered with excellent winners but also inexplicable errors. That said, his performance levels so far this week suggest the world number four is not far off.