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Murray Cruises To Set Anderson Clash

Wimbledon, Great Britain

Murray© Getty ImagesAndy Murray is through to the fourth round for the eighth time in nine years.

After dropping just two games in his second-round victory, defending champion Andy Murray was nearly as ruthless in the third round on Friday evening at Wimbledon as he dismissed Roberto Bautista Agut 6-2, 6-3, 6-2.

Afterwards, Murray joked he was "obviously the No. 2 son" after it emerged most of his family, including mum Judy, had missed his match while watching his brother, Jamie Murray, who was in action at the same time.

The Scot advances to a fourth-round clash with Kevin Anderson. Murray has split his two previous meetings with Anderson. It was the South African who won their last contest in Montreal three years ago. 

“Kevin is a tough opponent," Murray told BBC television. "Like Roberto, he is playing the best tennis of his career. He is a big guy, with a big game and I will need to be sharp when I play him. I hope the fans keep making more noise, as it really helps me.”

The third-seeded Murray converted seven of his 15 break point opportunities and won 88 per cent of points behind his first serve as he claimed victory over last week’s Topshelf Open champion, Bautista Agut, in one hour and 35 minutes.

“He (Roberto) has won a lot of matches lately, winning on grass last week in Holland," said Murray. "He has made a lot of improvements and fights very hard. I hung in some of the games, so I am happy to get it done in straight sets. It was a step up and I think I can do some things a little better."

The 27-year-old Murray is through to the fourth round at the All England Club for the eighth time in nine years. The Dunblane native ended Great Britain’s 77-year wait for a male singles champion at The Championships last year when he won his second Grand Slam title with victory over Novak Djokovic in the final. He also finished runner-up in 2012 (l. to Federer) and has a 40-7 tournament record.

The 20th-seeded Anderson finished strongly to beat No. 16 Fabio Fognini 4-6, 6-4, 2-6, 6-2, 6-1 in two hours and 45 minutes. It is the third major in a row, where Anderson has reached the fourth round. The 28-year-old Anderson is the first South African man to reach the round of 16 at Wimbledon since Wayne Ferreira in 2000 and is bidding to reach his first Grand Slam quarter-final.

"It was a very interesting match I would say," said Anderson, who hit 45 winners to 28 unforced errors. "There was a lot of ups and downs. Facing those break points, down two sets to one, I definitely knew it was my time if I wanted to at least stay even and give myself a chance to win.

"From that time, I just felt much better. Felt like I got a second wind going. I felt much more relaxed.  My feet were much better. The last two sets were sort of what I would have liked to start the match out with. Obviously I'm very happy to get through regardless of what might have taken place in the match.

"Being in the second week of Wimbledon feels fantastic," continued Anderson. "Just starting this week I felt like I was feeling good on the grass. It's been a very enjoyable tournament for me so far. I've been facing the challenges that I've had to face in matches, but little scenarios within the matches as well."

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