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Murray takes the scenic route into quarters

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Grabcopy
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I know I'm paranoid. But am I paranoid enough?

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On a day when it seemed easier to put pedal to metal and cruise to victory, Andy Murray today took the scenic route into the quarter-finals of the Australian Open, wending his way past Grigor Dimitrov, 6-4 6-7 6-3 7-5.


* Dimitrov.jpg (38.57 KB. 624x351 - viewed 402 times.)


A sluggish start saw Murray, who throughout looked as calm and composed as a monk meditating by a millpond, slip to a 0-3 deficit. But the Scot began to get more purchase on the ball, driving hard, deep and wide to level at 3-3.

At 4-4, 30-30 on his own serve, the Bulgarian drove an errant forehand down the line. Then, on the second of some 19 break points that Murray would enjoy on an unseasonably chilly Melbourne evening, he clipped away a forehand to seal the break. The Brit held without drama for a 6-4 first set.

In the second, the world number six broke in the third game with aggressive forehand driving. But in a theme that would run throughout the match, the Scot reverted to passive play once in the ascendancy and gave up the advantage for 3-3.

The passive-aggressive play rumbled on until 5-5 on the Bulgarian’s serve, when Murray dinked a neat crosscourt ball to Dimitrov’s feet to steal the break. But the Scot couldn’t serve it out and slipped to a 6-3 deficit in the tiebreak.

Mighty serving got the Brit back to 5-6, but Sharapova’s squeeze nailed a service winner to knot the encounter at a set apiece. With his coach Roger Rasheed screaming the house down, the Bulgarian had wound himself up like a corkscrew to haul himself back into the match.

At 2-2 in set three, Dimitrov raced to a Murray drop shot and clearly failed to get the ball up. Although Murray won the point, the incident left a bad taste. Would it fire up the Scot? Mogadon-calm, Murray quietly took Dimitrov’s serve at 4-3 and served out with some canny wide sliders.

In set four, the Bulgarian blew hot once more as the Scot tried to figure out a new set of tactics. While he made his mind up, some more play as passive as a puppy in a playpark saw Murray slip to 2-5 but, from there, the turnaround was swift and decisive.

Murray broke at 5-3 with Herculean defence and astute counter-attack, then held at 4-5. When he swept away a service return at 5-5, 0-40 to take an improbable 6-5 lead, Murray clenched his fist and roared into the midnight air, as the Bulgarian reduced his racket to matchwood.

At 40-30, the Scot hit a routine forehand that caught the tape and died, and an ironic smile played around his lips. Some would see the luck as a sort of wild justice for Dimitrov’s double-bounce gamesmanship of earlier.

In Tuesday’s quarter-final, Murray will take on Australia’s 19-year-old starlet Nick Kyrgios, who came from two sets down to beat Andreas Seppi in a rock-concert atmosphere on his favoured Hisense Arena.

[ Last edit by Grabcopy Today at 02:41 PM ] IP Logged
Tessie
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Re: Murray takes the scenic route into quarters « Reply #1 on: Today at 02:35 PM »
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A monk meditating by a millpond.  clap  really thought we were going to 5 but obviously Andy had other ideas. Great report as always.  Now to the housework a bit late. 
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janscribe
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Let's Go!!!

Re: Murray takes the scenic route into quarters « Reply #2 on: Today at 02:37 PM »
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Excellent report Nigel, thankyou and it was an excellent match with many brilliant points from both players, some of Andy's were real magic.
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michelle
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Re: Murray takes the scenic route into quarters « Reply #3 on: Today at 02:46 PM »
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Excellent report, very descriptive , however I think we had the scenic route because of the lights out tennis being played by Grigor, but the winning destination was Andy's because of the way he fought and played.
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MT
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Re: Murray takes the scenic route into quarters « Reply #4 on: Today at 02:55 PM »
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so true =  i lost count of the number of superlatives used by the commentators about Dmitrov's play. He was very aggressive and made very few mistakes, It was a great victory by Andy one of the best.
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lucyheisinger
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Re: Murray takes the scenic route into quarters « Reply #5 on: Today at 03:35 PM »
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Great win for Andy!
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iamabritt
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Re: Murray takes the scenic route into quarters « Reply #6 on: Today at 03:37 PM »
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Well done ,I'l take the scenic route everytime as log as it means a win.
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eeyorebob
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"I am a champion, and you're gonna hear me roar"

Re: Murray takes the scenic route into quarters « Reply #7 on: Today at 03:46 PM »
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A win is a win Very Happy
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counter_ puncher
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A counter puncher like Andy always fights back.

Re: Murray takes the scenic route into quarters « Reply #8 on: Today at 03:57 PM »
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An enjoyable report with fair assessment of Andy's game, its highs and lows throughout the match. And I loved the description of the players' mental states. It was only Round 4, though felt like more. Dimi had something to offer, otherwise he would not have presented such a challenge. Some of his shotmaking was not too bad. He could well have taken the fourth set and one never knows how things would have gone then. Is he really overrated as suggested on the match thread?
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eeyorebob
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"I am a champion, and you're gonna hear me roar"

Re: Murray takes the scenic route into quarters « Reply #9 on: Today at 04:09 PM »
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I like him - unless he is playing Andy <or another Brit lol>
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Grabcopy
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Re: Murray takes the scenic route into quarters « Reply #10 on: Today at 04:23 PM »
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Is he really overrated as suggested on the match thread?

Obviously, he's an amazing player - he's among the top 11 in the world. I meant in relative terms. I just don't feel he's top-four material. He's 24 in May - if he was going to make it, I feel he'd have done it by now. He'll probably remain a dangerous top-tenner.
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Ruthie
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Touch the sky - and touch it he did.

Re: Murray takes the scenic route into quarters « Reply #11 on: Today at 04:26 PM »
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A very enjoyable report Nigel.  Phew I'd forgotten just how stressful it can be watching our Andy.  But I thought he did really well to hold it together against an, at times, rampant Dimitrov.  My reaction to the final point was exactly the same as yours.  I have to say Dimitrov has rather lost my respect for not fessing up to the double bounce.  He must have known surely?
Thought Andy remarkably laid back dealing with the stupid interviewer's questions afterwards before politely reminding him he has another match to play tomorrow (Ozzie time).  Although it was a long match at least it was no longer than NK's though that was played earlier of course.
Was disappointed at lack of crowd support for Andy. It felt like the Bulgarians + other Dimi fans took over and although I spotted Andy's boys once they didn't seem to be their usual vocal selves. Were they sitting further back than usual?
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syc23
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Re: Murray takes the scenic route into quarters « Reply #12 on: Today at 04:34 PM »
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Great to see that Andy has got his 'fight' back. This time last year there so many matches where at crucial moments he let slip against Fed at AO and at Cincy, Tsonga in Canada, Rafa in Rome, Djokovic in Miami etc.

Hopefully this will set the tone for 2015.
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Ruthie
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Touch the sky - and touch it he did.

Re: Murray takes the scenic route into quarters « Reply #13 on: Today at 04:38 PM »
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yes syc and we saw the murray roar more than once - just LOVE it  yay
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