Monday, 26 January 2015

Murray removes Dimitrov in style

The second night match promised a lot with 6th seed and three time finalist here, Andy Murray clashing with one of the new breed in the top ten Grigor Dimitrov.  The paths to the fourth round encounter were contrasting - Murray yet to drop a set and Dimitrov taken to four by Lacko in the second round and needing to come from two sets to one behind against Baghdatis in the third round.

In the opening it was Grigor the proactive player introducing a variety of tennis to the table whereas Murray was content to play things as they rolled.  The policy worked for awhile for the Bulgarian whose 3-0 lead was helped with some Murray inefficiency and resultant service break in the second game.

Murray stepped his game up from here and a winning backhand set up a break back point in the fifth game. The match was 3-3 once Andy had completed another service hold, three aces as good a poker hand as he was going to have tonight.

The eighth game was impressive also with another ace and two forehand winners.  Dimitrov was holding serve too but less conspicuously. 4-4

Unforced errors produced two break points in the next Dimitrov service game and Andy chose the second one from which to convert, sending a forehand winner on a mission to take down the Bulgarian and allow the Scot the chance to serve for the set.

Murray lost just one more point en route to capturing the set 6-4, with another ace finishing the job.

Set two was full of entertainment and some of the best tennis played this tournament by any two players at the one time.  Murray had the early break for 2-1 but Dimitrov drew level 3-3 and then it was point for point, game for game until 5-5 when Grigor loss focus and Murray pounced for 6-5 and served for the set.

Dimitrov had Murray struggling at 15-40 but Andy was strong and saved the situation.  He couldn't deal with a Grigor volley however which set up another break point and Andy double faulted sending the set into a tie break.

At 2-3 in the breaker, Murray lost both his points on serve and Dimitrov had the distance he needed to carry on and take set 7-6 and tie the match at a set all.

Murray must have been spitting chips at wasting a golden opportunity to be two sets up.  He set about redressing the "injustice" by serving a treat in set three.  Grigor played well enough but could not find a way to penetrate the Scottish serve.

Dimitrov struggled to hold serve in the fourth game then lost it in the eighth game after saving two earlier break points.  Murray now had a 5-3 lead and served for the set as he had in the previous set.
This time he managed the job to lead 6-4 6-7 6-3.

Dimitrov wanted a fifth set as did many of the crowd, and when the Bulgarian led 5-2 it looked probable. Especially with a set point on Murray's next serve.  However the sixth seed turned it around and won that game plus the next four to demolish any hopes of a Sharapova-Dimitrov double triumph at the 2015 Open.

Murray won 6-4 6-7 6-3 7-5 and a fourth final here for him is not a bad bet right now.  Dimitrov played a good match but lost most of the key points in dispute, an obvious area of improvement.

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