Sunday, 22 January 2017

Mischa Zverev upsets Murray

Top seed Andy Murray was hoping for a spot in the final eight, and he would need to eliminate Mischa Zverev in their fourth round encounter to fulfil that desire.  In a tournament with high profile sets of siblings - the Williams sisters and Pliskova twins have made headlines - Mischa has made it further than his higher ranked and heavily touted younger brother Alexander.  His win, 9-7 in the fifth against John Isner in the second round, was most significant.
He may find it difficult to advance past Murray though.  The world number one has looked rather comfortable in his victories, yet to drop a set.

Murray served first and was sharp both from the baseline and around the net.  He had Zverev running lots of metres, especially on the fifth point, which Murray lost, maybe through impatience, and the serve was eventually held for little cost.

Murray lobbed Zverev masterfully to take it to deuce then a forehand drew an error bringing up break point.  Saved thanks to a volley put away.  A crisp serve volley was enough to hold serve and level at 1-1.

Zverev won a net battle and Murray replied with an angry ace for 15-15.  A brilliant overhead from the German took Murray to deuce, but another two aces put him back in his place. The top seed led 2-1.

Murray broke the Zverev serve in game four, finishing it off with two backhand winners, and was on track to consolidate the break before Zverev began causing him headaches.  The tennis was great with Zverev attacking the net and volleying, taking Murray out of his comfort zone.  He was also hitting groundstrokes with an almost Murray-like precision.  The exchanges were terrific, Murray pulling out some excellent shots just to stay in the points.  He saved a break point but couldn't resist the irresistible in the end and Zverev broke back with a sizzling backhand winner.  2-3 and on serve.

At 3-3, Murray found it impossible to pass Zverev at the net and was down 15-40.  He saved both break points, the second in a prolonged baseline rally.
Two game points came and went, Zverev passing Murray on one, and forcing a mistake on another.  The serve was held and Murray led 4-3, but he was doing this extremely tough.

A double fault from Zverev and Murray had break point which came when the net was found next by Mischa.

Andy served for the set, but couldn't manage it, broken for a second time in the set.
4-5 Zverev.  5-5 following a quick service game from Mischa.

A Murray backhand floating long presented a break point to Zverev and he won the next with excellent net play, something with which Murray had clearly not come to grips.

Zverev serving for the set at 6-5. Murray should forget the lob for awhile - it is being punished 15-0.  Big serving and 40-0 in a flash.
An ace for the first set 7-5. Murray would need at least four sets if he was to remain in contention for his debut Aus Open title

The revival was off to a perfect start, with Murray leading set two 3-0, including a single break of the Zverev serve, and holding onto his own - just.
Zverev played a great service game to remain one behind, and Murray cobbled together a whole lot of errors to give away his hard earned advantage.  2-3 Zverev and back on serve.

At 15-30, Mischa crept into the net when Andy wasn't looking to put away a volley.  He also delivered a big serve when required on break point.  Andy created a new problem when he won a net exchange for once.  He completed the break with a backhand pass and at 4-2 resumed control of set two.

Two big serves from Andy when he needed them at 15-30, but a double fault halted the momentum.  Break point came after Mischa came to the net and put away another volley.  A wild Murray forehand gave away the game and it was 3-4 Zverev.

Two decisive games on serve and Mischa was at the line 4-5 needing to hold to extend the set beyond ten games.
An Andy passing shot gave him 0-30, and a winning volley three set points.  They were all saved.  A brilliant return forced an error and a fourth set point resulted.  Also saved with a big serve.  Perilous waters were safely navigated and it was 5-5.
5-6 after a slick Murray hold.

A classic returning game from Murray gave Zverev nowhere to move and he broke to love, taking the set 7-5, seizing the momentum and shortening in favouritism to win the match.

After four games of standard serving fare, it was Murray who cracked under a barrage of brilliance from Zverev whose shot making from all over the court was simply too good for the top seed who was broken to love and trailed 2-3.
Murray struck back with two lob winners and a passing shot, but break point was saved with a down the line pearler.
Serve was held 4-2 Zverev.

Incredibly, Murray was broken once more and Zverev was serving at 5-2 for a two sets to one lead.  More than likely the top seed would need to go the distance now to survive.
Zverev confirmed this as he swept through the next game to take the set 6-2.

Murray was appearing to cruise to a service hold in the opening game of set four, but no such thing as cruise mode today and 40-15 was turned on its ear, and Zverev broke to take a grip on the match.  2-0 after a solid game on his own serve, volleying like a genius, and Murray required intervention from above.

Nothing happened for Andy in the next four games to help his demeanour and Mischa just kept on closing in on the prize, leading 4-2 and Andy to serve.

At 4-3 and 40-15 Zverev missed volleys that he hadn't all match - a sign of nerves no doubt.  He steadied himself and served out the game for 5-3.

Murray won a long rally to take it to 30-15. A cruel net cord made it 30-30.  A deep forcing shot from Zverev and deuce.  Another deuce after Murray found the net.  The game was Andy's finally after a few game points.

Mischa to serve for a quarter final spot at 5-4.
First point to Murray in a net battle.  A clutch overhead from Zverev and 15-15.  A fine return forcing the error 15-30.  Amazing volley winner and 30-30.  Match point after another great rally.
He did it !

Mischa Zverev in a fantastic win over the world number one 7-5 5-7 6-2 6-4

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