Andy Murray produced a superb display of all court tennis to nullify Milos Raonic and reach the quarter finals of the US Open. The Scot won 6-4, 6-4, 6-2 in just over two hours.
Ranoic's huge serve and equally big forehand form the nucleus of his game. The Canadian has hit a staggering 733 aces so far this year, second only to John Isner, and leads the way in terms of points won on first serve. If an opponent does manage to neutralise the first serve (easier said than done!) the Canadian often struggles. His ground game lacks consistency and his net play can, at times, be reminiscent of Roddick in net rushing mode.
So, nullifying the first serve was key... and boy did Murray do just that. Time and time again the Scot got on the end of serves which by rights should have been outright winners. Without his key stroke, Raonic's Plan B appeared to consist mostly of rushing to the net and watching agape as Murray threaded yet another pin point pass down the line.
Murray's own service games were oases of calm by comparison. Raonic failed to create any break point chances and the Scot was rarely under any sort of pressure. Mild moments of concern in the third set (not that dropping to 15-30 down is especially concerning) were averted with big serves.
This was a pleasing performance from Murray, especially when contrasted with his fourth round struggles against Lopez. Tactics and execution were perfect and a dangerous opponent was dispatched quickly and efficiently. His opponents press conference comments summed it up nicely: "He did things I had no answer for, something I had not really experienced before" and "it was simply amazing".
Next up is Marin Cilic, scheduled for some time on Wednesday.