Murray struggles past Simon
By Phil Messenger for MurraysWorld.com on May 10, 2013, 08:29 AMAndy Murray overcame a spirited opponent and his own profligacy to advance into the quarter finals of the Madrid Open, eventually beating Gilles Simon 2-6, 6-4, 7-6(6).
Simon has only beaten the Scot once in 11 attempts but for the first hour looked the more likely winner. The Frenchman won eight of the first ten games and barely had to exert himself as a subdued Murray struggled to find rhythm and consistency. When the Scot found himself 2-6, 0-2, 0-30 down, a disappointing clay court season looked set to continue with yet another early exit.
Murray is nothing if not tenacious and the fourth game of the second set proved pivotal. The pair exchanged game points for 14 minutes before the Scot finally converted his seventh breakpoint of the game with a crushing backhand return. Murray on to dictate the rest of the set, converting his fifth set point as Simon once again struggled to hold serve at 4-5.
The third set looked in danger of being almost routine when the US Open champion broke for a 3-0 lead. Simon fought back, breaking to level the score at 3-3 and saving match points at 5-6. Murray squandered more match points in the tie-break before finally converting at the sixth time of asking.
Murray will meet Tomas Berdych in the quarter finals. The pair have met on clay twice, with the Czech prevailing on both occasions.
Thanks for the report boogers. That was tense, a murraycoaster at it's best. I was exhausted after that match I can tell you. So wanted Andy to win that match as did not want Andy to got out the same day as Fed.
May 10, 2013, 10:06 AM
It was horrible - 1 of the worst we've had to watch. 3 breaks out of 18 was just so so frustrating. Andy should have closed it out 6-2,6-2 and so he ended up on court 45 mins longer than needed. But credit to Simon for 'hanging in there' even in the tiebreak at match point with that ridiculous high backhand volley that landed on the line. I quite like Simon but last night he was just irritating!
May 10, 2013, 10:48 AM
Simon deserves credit for his tenacity - he could so easily have folded under the pressure Murray applied from 2-0 in the 2nd. For Andy to win after losing 8 of the first 10 games showed his fighting qualities as well as great tennis intelligence. I feel,though,a quicker start will be required if he is to progress further.
May 10, 2013, 11:35 AM
Unfortunately our internet router packed up yesterday so I watched the match without the benefit of MW. We're back on line now but I never realised how cut off I would feel. I didn't enjoy the match - Andy seemed to take the longest way to everything and the brilliant shots were accompanied by their fair share of errors. Mark Petchey has just labelled Andy the 'patron saint of lost causes' and my nerves still bear the effects. What will happen this evening heavens knows but I will not be able to keep away from the TV so I've only myself to blame for another nervy evening. It's not that I don't have faith in him, but no-one can say his game is at all predictable at the moment, however hard he tries. Good Luck Andy - so want you to win - don't like Berdych anyway. How about knocking him for 6 - then beating Stan and then perhaps taking the title from Nadal on Sunday - just to make a change! How I wish.....
May 10, 2013, 02:36 PM
Thank you for a good and factual match report Phil. I really appreciate your writing.
May 10, 2013, 03:35 PM
Thanks for a fair report Phil. I agree with others that it wasn't an enjoyable match and the first set, when Andy looked like he hadn't turned up, was awful, but I think we should at least note that among the dross there were some real glimpses of the murray magic. And I agree with sid that Andy deserves some credit for turning it round. Can't help but feel a bit [but not that] sorry for Gilles as he must have thought finally he was going to beat Andy.
May 10, 2013, 04:51 PM