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.
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

Great win after a break!  I have just been watching the USO final again and was thinking that in all Andy's matches at Wimby (except one), Olympics and USO he would have won even if they had been three setters.  This, I hope, bodes well for the rest of this tournament and the rest.
October 02, 2012, 02:48 PM
By tamila

v interesting & positive comment from Andy quoted on bbc website:

The 25-year-old said in Japan that winning his first grand slam in New York has seen him re-evaluate his approach to each tournament.

"I was so, I don't want to say 'obsessed' with winning a grand slam, but it was so important to me," Murray said.

"Sometimes during the year in certain matches I haven't done myself justice. I felt after the US Open that I needed to reset some goals.

"I was always focusing on the next grand slam rather than every tournament and every match I played.

"Now I feel like I can hopefully concentrate better, take more responsibility for my performances in every tournament throughout the year."
October 02, 2012, 04:23 PM
By Ruthie

Good report and under difficult circumstances.

The live score board was poor as it didnt show who took the first set for ages. Thanks to all you "posters" during the match as I was a work and had to just snatch a quick look at the score whilst I kept on working.

Way to go Champ, well done lad clap

October 02, 2012, 06:51 PM
By lashurst

Are the match stats somewhere? Andy would appear to have been serving well, but would like to check.
That was a very interesting quote from Andy, Ruthie. Hoping he can now play with greater freedom and renewed enthusiasm  everywhere. Fingers crossed
October 02, 2012, 06:54 PM
By blueberryhill

v interesting & positive comment from Andy quoted on bbc website:

The 25-year-old said in Japan that winning his first grand slam in New York has seen him re-evaluate his approach to each tournament.

"I was so, I don't want to say 'obsessed' with winning a grand slam, but it was so important to me," Murray said.

"Sometimes during the year in certain matches I haven't done myself justice. I felt after the US Open that I needed to reset some goals.

"I was always focusing on the next grand slam rather than every tournament and every match I played.

"Now I feel like I can hopefully concentrate better, take more responsibility for my performances in every tournament throughout the year."

Thanks for posting that Ruthie. I have no doubt that its true, it must be a different Andy Murray now when he looks in the mirror. He's proved himself this summer time and time again. 

The monkey off his back, or a gorilla I should think, in this case!
October 02, 2012, 06:55 PM
By lashurst

Are the match stats somewhere? Andy would appear to have been serving well, but would like to check.


He won 50 out of 59 service points, 56% 1st serves in.
You can get the match stats from the results page on ATP site.

Thanks for the report MH.
October 02, 2012, 07:03 PM
By Elena

Cheers Elena. First serve stats not as good as I hoped, but hey first time on court for ages.
October 02, 2012, 07:05 PM
By blueberryhill

I had an appointment and was already in my jacket but had to delay my departure due to the lifescore of the first set. Really tight when you only have numbers. Thanks to everybody on MW who filled them with life. After that first set I left with little worry as I could not believe Karlo to win two sets in a row. There is no doubt about this GS obsession. I mean we as fans had high hopes and our temperature was rising with every major event and every match. How must Andy then have lived with this unbearable external and internal pressure?! And that his performance in other tournaments suffered from it was obvious to all of us. We will have a holiday tomorrow and with the day becoming rather sunny I'm going on a day trip. So it is actually perfect without a live coverage. And with the rain coming in on Thursday I can make myself comfortable in front of a monitor.
October 02, 2012, 07:17 PM
By counter_ puncher

Are the match stats somewhere? Andy would appear to have been serving well, but would like to check.
That was a very interesting quote from Andy, Ruthie. Hoping he can now play with greater freedom and renewed enthusiasm  everywhere. Fingers crossed
First serve % was only 56% I believe, but he won most of the points behind both first and second serve. I don't remember Karlovic even getting to 30. Andy was always the one pressing, although down 3-5 in the tie-break things looked a bit worrying.

Edit: I see Elena has already answered you anyway!
October 02, 2012, 07:46 PM
By TheMadHatter

Tough first round match for a start and a bit tight yet straight sets win. We'll take it.

Andy almost always seems to fall behind in TBs but I suppose that also means he's going to take it. Didn't get to see any of it, unfortunately, but perhaps, the weekend will allow me to see some Andy after a long time if he gets through the first few rounds. Still, it was a nice break so can’t really complain.

October 02, 2012, 09:36 PM
By Emma Jean

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