Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Murray too polished for Kyrgios

The quarter final which much of Australia had been waiting for arrived at Rod Laver Arena on the second Tuesday night of the Aus Open 2015.  Sixth seed Andy Murray, who before the tournament had been expected to have to defeat both Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal in order to make the final has now avoided both thanks to the efforts of other players, but he still had to negotiate a path around exciting Australian teenager Nick Kyrgios who had thrilled the crowd with his comeback win over Federer's conqueror Andreas Seppi.

Of course the task to defeat Murray was monumental in comparison considering the Scot's record at Grand Slam level and in particular here at Melbourne Park where although without a title he has been to the final three times, nearly winning it once.

Murray opened proceedings and was 0-30 thanks to two great points from Kyrgios, the second a forehand winner.  Then the next 15 points went to the server.  Aces and service winners helped both players to race through the early games - in fact Murray led 3-2 after about 14 minutes.

In the sixth game Nick served an ace and then from 30-0 it began to unravel.  A Murray winner followed by Kyrgios errors from both sides led to a break point, the first of the match.  It was saved with an ace, but two more forehand failures handed the break to Murray who now led 4-2 and had the first set on his terms.

Kyrgios simply lost his patience in the key points, choosing to attempt to win with the first or second shot rather than build the point until a better opportunity presented itself for pulling the trigger.

Nick had hardly made a mark on the Murray serve and it didn't improve in the seventh game which saw Andy cruise with another ace, and one as good as, to be only a single game from the set.

Kyrgios dug really deep into his well of fighting capacity in the eighth game not wanting to remove from Murray the responsibility of serving out the set.  The 16 point game required Kyrgios to save two set points and on his third game point he hit a clean winner to bring the score to 3-5.

Murray served out with no drama to win the opener 6-3.

In the second set Kyrgios had even less success eating into the Murray serve, only winning six points off it in total.  However he had more luck with his own delivery which was more consistent and potent than it had been.

Game three was where the trouble had to be averted - Kyrgios led 40-30 but after a mistake from the Aussie, Murray hit a winner to bring up break point.  Kyrgios saved it but on two game points Murray again struck winners to take it back to deuce.  Finally a lapse from the sixth seed gave the game to Kyrgios for him to lead 2-1.

A tie break sorted the set and after a point against each serve Kyrgios led 3-2.  He followed up with a forehand winner to lead 4-3 with a mini break and two serves to come.

Losing both points meant that Kyrgios had given Murray 5-4 with the chance to serve for the set.  A Scottish double fault was a temporary life line for Nick but at 5-5 he stuffed up a backhand and Murray won the next point for 7-5 and the set 7-6.

Nick Kyrgios had the job ahead of him now, two sets down and serving second in the third set, Murray rock solid on his offerings from the line.

Nick fought all the way to 2-2 but fell to the immense pressure from Andy and the match situation in his next service game, and trailed 2-4.

Out of the blue the Australian found a bit extra and broke through a seemingly impenetrable Scottish serve and his hopes flickered a little longer.

The mean Murray extinguished them instantly with another break and served out a high standard match 6-3 7-6 6-3.

Murray looked very good in terms of the title hopes while Kyrgios has done well to achieve what he has so early in his career.

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