Murray dispatches Lopez

By for MurraysWorld.com on
Andy Murray's Australian Open campaign continued with a straight-forward 7-6(2), 6-4, 6-2 victory over Feliciano Lopez. The Scot beat Lopez for the 8th time and will now face France's Stephane Robert - the first ever Lucky Loser to make the fourth round.

Murray's back continues to receive more attention than his game, but both held up well against the first serious test of the championship.

Lopez had come close to beating Murray the last time they met, at the US Open in 2012, where the Scot won in four close sets in searing heat and high humidity. The weather conditions were more benign today and Lopez showed no signs of repeating that performance.



After a cagey start in which both players dropped serve, the Scot earned four break points in game six and another two at 6-5. The Spaniard saved all six with big serves and aggressive play, but Murray was unfazed and cantered through the resulting tiebreak.

Lopez dropped serve in the opening game of the second set, folding under pressure and hitting a double fault on break point. This was enough for the Scot, who remained untouched on serve. Lopez briefly threatened at 5-4, 15-30, sending a lob high and deep but Murray was alert to the danger. The Scot chased it down before executing an audacious over-the-shoulder shot down the line.

With the comfort of having two sets under his belt, Murray started to hit out. Lopez withered and the Scot broke serve twice and hit 11 winners to seal the match in a little over two hours.

This was the first real test of Murray's form and fitness, and he acquitted himself well.
A very fair report. I'm getting fed up with the Coms obsession with Andy's back, and making something from nothing every time Andy pulled down his top. Andy isn't bothered about his back. He will be looking to move on and put on a good showing against this next French opponent.
January 18, 2014, 08:43 AM
By michelle

I agree a fair report and thanks for producing so quickly.  Perhaps unduly influenced by the wretched comms I was pretty anxious the first few games as there was no power in his serve or shots.  But seeing how Andy took charge of the tie break gave me renewed hope and after that there were some real flashes of murray magic.  Worth getting up before 5am for.  Am wondering whether Andy's mind had partly been on Ross/Colin and Jamie's losses in the dubs at the outset given what he said after the last match about his concern for Jamie?  Nice post-match interview too.
January 18, 2014, 08:47 AM
By Ruthie

Thanks for the report Phil.  clap  Good title clap

I watched the match and was very encouraged with Andys' handling of it. He took charge when he needed to, his serve was good.  1st serves in 64% and 1st serve points won 86%.
Just 4/11 Break points won though and 30 UFE, so he'll be looking at these aspects on the way to the anticipated QF.
 His next opponent wont help him prepare for whats to come if the form of Rafa, but he'll avoid a 5-setter at least.
 
January 18, 2014, 10:23 AM
By lashurst

Thanks for the excellent report. It was a good match for Andy as he put himself in control of whatever was bothering him in the first set and is another step following surgery on the trail to playing and winning against the likes of Novak and Nadal. Rafa's match against Monfils shows only too well the hard, aggressive, accurate play he will be up against.
January 18, 2014, 10:34 AM
By janscribe

I woke up at 5 (it's my internal clock ..Smile) so was able to see the match. he played a bit defensive and was grumbling a little too much. The result and the next round opponent is fine so roll on!!
January 18, 2014, 10:40 AM
By flowerpower

Thanks for the report   Able to listen to the radio and laugh at the comms saying how cold it was in Melbourne as the rain lashed my windows and the gales whistled round the roof they don't know they're born!

Well done Andy into the last 16 Hope he recovers okay from his first really testing match
January 18, 2014, 11:01 AM
By benniebone

Well, said I'd be happy if Andy got to  second week and I am ecstatic  yahooo All the rest is icing  wub
Ta 4 report boogers  clap
January 18, 2014, 11:21 AM
By blueberryhill

Assuming he gets through the next round. If he has to lose after that, my preference would be for Tsonga not Federer to beat him. Federer would assume it's because he is brilliant but Tsonga would regognise it would be because Murray is still on the way back.
January 18, 2014, 12:04 PM
By Masaka

Assuming he gets through the next round. If he has to lose after that, my preference would be for Tsonga not Federer to beat him. Federer would assume it's because he is brilliant but Tsonga would regognise it would be because Murray is still on the way back.
I'm not really fussed, to be honest.  For me it's about how Andy plays - not who he wins against. 

I get a bit fed up of the Roger bashing.  The man has achieved so much and a lot of the time I just think it's sour grapes on a lot of peoples' part to have a go.  Yes - he can come across as arrogant - so what?  Andy comes across as being dour, but we all know that isn't who he is, really.

Anyhoo - really chuffed with the comeback and reaching the last 16 and second week.  As BBH says - anything else is icing... Smile
January 18, 2014, 12:13 PM
By Elly

Well Andy has the easiest 4th round match anyway Smile
January 18, 2014, 12:39 PM
By laundry

Well Andy has the easiest 4th round match anyway Smile
On paper, maybe.  Doesn't always work out, though!

(I'm a right pain in the arse! Very Happy
January 18, 2014, 12:43 PM
By Elly

Commentators were doing my head in during Andy's match always going on about his back jeez! Anyway a great win and great play from oor Bonnie boy!
January 18, 2014, 12:51 PM
By ChrisMac

It's great to see Andy playing again. Looking good, Andy!  Well done, again.
January 18, 2014, 01:14 PM
By adb..OH

The way I see it with the comms is that Andy can't win. If he struggles at all it's because of his back. If he doesn't struggle it's because 'he's had an easy draw'. Either way it's madness.

Andy made it quite clear from the start of the AO that he didn't know how well the back would hold up. That's fair enough, because he isn't long back from surgery, etc. What is also clear to me is that if he does feel a twinge, whether to do with the surgery or not, he is bound to be aware of it for at least a while yet. That strikes me as natural. The key, at least I think, is him playing through twinges and knowing it's okay. That will give him confidence that the back really is fine.

All in all I think Andy is looking good. Sure, he's had a couple of tricky moments, but he has also played some gorgeous tennis. He's moving well and striking the ball beautifully. Dare I say it, I think he's playing better than he did at last year's AO.
January 18, 2014, 01:25 PM
By teejay1

Commentators were doing my head in during Andy's match always going on about his back jeez! Anyway a great win and great play from oor Bonnie boy!

Totally agree.  I wish there was a way to shut them off without losing the sound of the actual match.

As far as I could see he only pulled his shirt down.

I am also sick of the fawning over Nadal.  How humble he and his family are!!  Absolute rubbish.  They keep saying that he lost his focus.  I think he did against Millot but that was understandable considering how much his family mean to him. I have inside information from a friend of mine who used to work at Wimby that he is far from humble and can be quite rude to the staff whereas Andy and Nole are very polite.  Holding open doors etc..

I expected this match to be even tighter but was not totally surprised at the result.

I am sure I remember that most slams start like this.  gradually working his way in.  The others also say that is what they do.  They only play well enough to get through the first week.
January 18, 2014, 01:49 PM
By tamila

Re the commentators, perhaps they should read this and shut the hell up about it.

Murray, 26, will go into that match as a heavy favourite but has played down his chances of winning a third Grand Slam title next Sunday so early in his return from surgery.

"I've recovered well after the matches," he said. "From time to time there's a bit of stiffness and soreness, but for the most part it's been good.

"You normally are going to get some stiffness in an area where you've had surgery. It takes a bit of time for that to go away."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/tennis/25793548
January 18, 2014, 02:42 PM
By The Gnome

Andy started to play well in the second set. He seemed to be a bit stiff but worked his way through the first set well. Just happy to see him play well in the second and third set.On to the fourth round then hope he continues to play well and that is all we can ask of him.
January 18, 2014, 02:51 PM
By Littlebuddha

Re the commentators, perhaps they should read this and shut the hell up about it.

Murray, 26, will go into that match as a heavy favourite but has played down his chances of winning a third Grand Slam title next Sunday so early in his return from surgery.

"I've recovered well after the matches," he said. "From time to time there's a bit of stiffness and soreness, but for the most part it's been good.

"You normally are going to get some stiffness in an area where you've had surgery. It takes a bit of time for that to go away."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/tennis/25793548

In this interview I was also struck by Andy saying very clearly that he feels much better than he did say 4 months ago.  It does seem that the surgery has been successful but that there is inevitable stiffness as a result of it and of not having played matches for so long.  I guess this was reflected in the first few games before the stiffness wore off.  Ultimately, what is most important is that it would appear the surgery paid off and anything else now at the AO is a bonus or as already said 'icing on the cake' [but then I do have a weakness for cake  Whistle ]
January 18, 2014, 06:59 PM
By Ruthie

Re the commentators, perhaps they should read this and shut the hell up about it.

Murray, 26, will go into that match as a heavy favourite but has played down his chances of winning a third Grand Slam title next Sunday so early in his return from surgery.

"I've recovered well after the matches," he said. "From time to time there's a bit of stiffness and soreness, but for the most part it's been good.

"You normally are going to get some stiffness in an area where you've had surgery. It takes a bit of time for that to go away."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/tennis/25793548
Excellent interview.  Thanks for posting. Smile  Unfortunately the comms seem to be so obsessed with his back that I swear that if he sneezes his back will be to blame!  It wouldn't surprise me though if the sudden extreme drop in temperature didn't affect it slightly, and the sight of Lendl draped in a towel spoke volumes as well as making me chuckle.  Such temps are welcomed with open arms here. Rolling Eyes

Andy's slow starts are nothing unusual at the best of times, so I thought he coped very well here in the circumstances, getting over a few mutterings of frustration in the first set quickly and not letting this get to him.  TBs are always a test, and it was encouraging that he took this one so comfortably.  What was more even gratifying was to see signs of Lopez's frustration in the next two sets as Andy upped his game.

Overall I was very happy with his performance and relieved to see that, once again, he was moving well and appeared to be in no discomfort.
January 18, 2014, 07:23 PM
By Aileen

http://www.ausopen.com/en_AU/news/interviews/2014-01-18/201401181390036168372.html

here's the press interview transcript - nice to see Andy emphasising the role played by his physio and the rest of the team and saying it's not just about the coach.   
January 18, 2014, 07:26 PM
By Ruthie

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