Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Murray a class or two too much for Matosevic

Marinko Matosevic had done well to progress to the second round of the Aus Open for the first time, coming from behind to win in five sets - his reward an even tougher assignment against 6th seed Andy Murray.

Murray served first and served notice from the outset that the gap between the two players was significant and that Marinko would need all the planets to align to give him a chance of prevailing today.
All of the Aussie's errors in the opening game were hit with so much force in contrast to the easy rhythm with which the winners were peeling off the Scottish racquet.
The energy was visibly being sapped from Matosevic at a similar rate as his confidence while Murray moved with cool calm assurance.

14 minutes passed and already Matosevic had been broken twice and at 0-5 needed to hold or face the ultimate embarrassment.  To his credit he turned his obvious nerves into positive adrenalin to win some rallies and at least post a score against his name.

Andy just took this to be handy hitting practice and nonchalantly stepped out to pocket the first set 6-1, allowing the Aussie one down the line winner in the final game for his trouble.

Set two and Marinko deep in drama again 0-40 before managing to fight hard for deuce.  Sadly those efforts were in vain and Murray broke serve once more.  

The Australian offered better opposition in this set and after four games the damage was contained to the single break.  Not content, Andy pushed until the insurance break arrived in the fifth game and he was serving at 6-1 4-1.

Matosevic neutralised Murray's weapons suddenly in the sixth game with the most proactive display of his own abilities for the whole match to date.  He achieved a totally unexpected break and continued his positive play into the next service game to close the gap to 3-4.

Murray found a way to 5-3 but it was a rough and longer path than the smooth freeways he had travelled for most of the match, and under normal circumstances he would have had to serve again to take the set but some poor shot selection and execution, plus a double fault by Marinko determined that the set was over 6-3 upon the umpteenth break of the Aussie serve.

For the sake of the match, a solid service game from Marinko to start set three would have been the tonic, and at 40-0 it appeared that might be a real chance, but it was blown with a stack of unforced errors and sealed with a double fault - Murray led 2-0 and merely had to hold serve a few times more to win the match.
Matosevic did not make it easy, both entertaining and frustrating, but insufficient to prevent Murray playing continued high quality tennis, breaking once more in the final game for a resounding 6-1 6-3 6-2 victory.

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