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Murray Beats Robredo Under Roof, As Rain Curtails Play

Wimbledon, England

Murray© AFP/Getty ImagesAndy Murray is bidding to become the first British male champion at Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936.

Second seed and last year’s runner-up Andy Murray beat No. 32 seed Tommy Robredo 6-2, 6-4, 7-5 under the Centre Court roof on Friday at The Championships.

The 26-year-old Murray, who is bidding to become the first British man since Fred Perry in 1936 to win the Wimbledon title, has now won 14 straight matches on grass courts, which includes the gold medal at the London 2012 Olympics and a third Aegon Championships title just 12 days ago.

“I hit the ball really, really well from the back of the court tonight from the first game," said Murray. "That was pleasing because I served well [in] the first couple of matches, but maybe I hadn't hit the ball quite as I would have liked. But playing under the roof, it's a bit easier probably to time the ball because there's no wind or anything."

Murray will next challenge No. 20 seed Mikhail Youzhny and Viktor Troicki in the fourth round. "[Youzhny is] a very good grass court player," said Murray. "He was in the final in Halle [at the Gerry Weber Open]. He's a very talented guy. Troicki, I've had some good matches with him in the past. I know his game well. He's extremely quick around the court."

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Murray competed with great composure and patience in the opening exchanges of their first tour-level meeting since May 2009 at the Mutua Madrid Open. Rallying from the baseline he quickly exploited the short ball or any half chances to break Robredo’s serve in the third and fifth games.

The pair then exchanged service breaks before Murray, who committed five unforced errors, regained control in the 35-minute opener. Robredo, who has twice hit with Martina Hingis, the 1997 women’s champion, at Aorangi Park this week, won just 18 per cent of his second service points.

Murray carried the momentum into the second set by winning the first two games. He served with great accuracy, particularly to Robredo’s backhand, and countered any of the Spaniard’s forays to the net with some crushing winners.

"Every set got tougher," said Murray. "I think he started to feel much more comfortable around the middle of the second set. He had a break point chance at 5-4 in the second. He got quite tight around that period."

RobredoRobredo kept fighting though. Murray expected nothing less from his 31-year-old opponent, who had dropped to No. 471 in the Emirates ATP Rankings in May 2012 as a result of a serious knee injury. Murray squandered one set point chance at 5-4, 40/30 and was then saved one break point with a crosscourt forehand winner. Robredo hit a backhand long on Murray’s second set point to end a competitive period of play.

Murray battled hard to extinguish any hopes that Robredo had of coming back from 0-2 sets deficit for the seventh time in his career. But Robredo proved defiant until a moment of brilliance from Murray at 5-5, 30/30. Attacking a Robredo backhand, Murray volleyed into the corner – bang on the baseline. Robredo then hit a backhand into the net to give Murray a 6-5 lead. Murray completed his 30th match win of the year with a hold to 15.

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Adrian Mannarino reached the fourth round of a major championship for the first time after he beat qualifier Dustin Brown 6-4, 6-2, 7-5 in fading light on Court 14. He will next play No. 25 Benoit Paire or Lukasz Kubot.

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© Neven Gerencir

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