AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2014
Murray In Form Heading Into Second Week
by ATP Staff|
Andy Murray kept up his impressive record against left-handers, recording his 14th win in a row as he defeated No. 26 seed Feliciano Lopez 7-6(2), 6-4, 6-2 in just over two hours in their third-round match on Saturday, not facing a break point after the first game of the match. It was his eighth win in eight meetings with Lopez.
"Today was a big step up for me," said Murray. "Feliciano is a Top 30 player. He's a tricky opponent to play. I know I have a good record against him, but it doesn't change the fact he's not an easy guy to play against. Very different type of opponent to what you normally face. So it was a good test for me, and I did well."
Trading breaks to open the match, Murray struggled to take control of the rallies in the opening set with Lopez’s serving masterful on break points, forcing the Scot into a tie-break. Racing across the baseline to retrieve Lopez smashes and serving his first ace of the match, Murray shifted gears to take the tie-break 7-2 after 65 minutes on court.
With a grip on the match, two double faults gifted Murray a break in the opening game of the second set. Despite some impressive ball-striking from Lopez, a return winner earning a “wow” from Murray, the Scot’s serve was impenetrable, serving out the set and breaking in the first game of the third to all but seal the match.
Dominating the all-court game, Murray served out the third set with ease after 28 minutes, setting up an encounter with unseeded Frenchman Stephane Robert in the Round of 16. Winning the tournament would make Murray the first man to do so after losing the final three times. The Scot has won two Grand Slam championships at the 2012 US Open and Wimbledon last year, beating Novak Djokovic both times.
Watch Match Highlights
In a contest between two lucky losers, World No. 119 Robert defeated Martin Klizan 6-0, 7-6(2), 6-4 to achieve his best Grand Slam result. The 33 year old has only dropped one set in the main draw to reach the Round of 16. Robert has a 1-5 record against Top 10 opponents, with his lone win coming over No. 6 Tomas Berdych at Roland Garros in 2011.
"It's good to see," said Murray. "He's obviously 33 years old. Could be easy to stop playing if you're not in the Top 100 or necessarily making a great living. But it does show if you stick at it, you're professional, when your chance comes, you take it, you can do great things. Great for him. Good for tennis as well. Klizan was a lucky loser as well, so they both took their opportunity.
"He's played a lot of matches here. He's played six or seven matches already. He'll be match tight, that's for sure."