Murray edges past Karlovic

By for MurraysWorld.com on
US Open champion Andy Murray began his Tokyo title defence today with a 7-6(7), 6-4 victory over the lucky loser Ivo Karlovic in the Japanese capital.

It was the world number three’s first competitive match since claiming his maiden grand slam three weeks ago, although for unknown reasons it was not televised anywhere around the globe. The top seed was originally expected to face former world number seven Gael Monfils, but the Frenchman withdrew after a knee injury picked up in Bangkok last week.

As always with matches against Karlovic it was a case of trying to find a way to nullify the Croat’s massive serve. Karlovic’s ace stats (per match) are third only to John Isner and Milos Raonic this year, but the Brit is the greatest hard court returner on the tour since records began back in the early 90’s, and it was he who was digging out the early chances. But Karlovic stood strong, responding with an ace to every break point opportunity in the opening stages.

Murray was facing no problems on his own service games, but the top seed couldn’t find a way to break the world number 79 and so into a tie-break it went. And it was the Brit who prevailed, coming from behind as he has made a habit of doing in tie-breaks of late, taking it 9-7 after fending off a set point.

The second set followed a similar path to the first, with both players racing through their service games. But this time Murray was serving first, and when Karlovic had to serve to stay in the match, he crumbled. The US Open champion found himself with three match points, and although the Croatian number two saved two of them (one with a second serve ace), the Scot was able to seal the match on the third to book his place in round two.

In the second round Murray will meet the world number 65 Lukas Lacko, who demolished Albert Ramos 6-0, 6-2 yesterday.
add comment | 24 comments
Thanks Mad Hatter for your report on the match. I was under the impression that Andy would not be playing until tomorrow. But glad to hear that Andy won, Karlovic can be a tricky customer and should never be discounted. Thanks again for your report.
October 02, 2012, 10:00 AM
By Littlebuddha

Thanks MadHatter, for your informative report. Glad that Andy came through impressively!  cmon yeah
October 02, 2012, 10:13 AM
By ChrisMac

It's great that GS champ Andy is able to get the first win under his belt since USO.

Hope Andy can get past Lacko and then set the record straight with Chardy  cmon yeah
October 02, 2012, 10:40 AM
By syc23

Well done Luke - managed to make a report on a match you'd not been able to watch interesting and informative!
And more importantly well done Andy who must have been a bit rusty but sounds like he must have been serving great and good to see off Karlovic in 2 sets and well under 2 hours.  Onwards and upwards for the USO and Olympics champ.   yay yay
October 02, 2012, 11:09 AM
By Ruthie

Great news! Very imformative mate.
October 02, 2012, 11:48 AM
By ProdigyEng

Great report, you'd think you'd seen the match, great stuff.

Brilliant for Andy to have got that one under his belt fairly handily. I hope he keeps a good rhythm on his serve though. Matches against big servers like that can throw your rhythm out, so I hope he'll be all right. I think he will.
October 02, 2012, 12:12 PM
By teejay1

Thanks, Luke. Shame we didn't get to see it, so your match report is all the more welcome.
October 02, 2012, 12:58 PM
By scotnadian

Thankyou Luke. Your report brought the match to life for me Just following the scores is very dry and not very interesting. This was especially welcome as the match was ignored by almost every other outlet
October 02, 2012, 01:04 PM
By benniebone

Thanks, Luke & also for "live comments" on other thread which I just skimmed through as I was not able to stay with it at the time.  Only in tennis it seems is it so hard sometimes to find out where, what etc is going on. Checking other sources getting all different answers. Thank heavens for Murrays World.

Well done, Andy, by all accounts good strong games.
October 02, 2012, 01:38 PM
By adb..OH

Good win Andy...
Thumbs up!
October 02, 2012, 01:46 PM
By Sabine

add comment | 24 comments