Battling Murray wears down Benneteau
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:45
The 22-year-old Scot had been an overwhelming favourite heading into this quarter-final tie, but found himself staring at a shock exit when he conceded his first set of the week 6-4 and then went 2-0 down in the second.
However, the world number two responded brilliantly against the Frenchman with three breaks of serve to level the match and then stormed through to third set to prevail 4-6 6-3 6-1 and secure a last-four date with either Roger Federer or Lleyton Hewitt.
Murray started brightly enough, earning the first break of serve in the fifth game to establish a 3-2 lead.
But Benneteau, only in the draw courtesy of Juan Martin del Potro’s withdrawal due to fatigue, broke back immediately and then took the set courtesy of a sloppy game from Murray which included a wayward forehand and a double fault.
The world number 55 continued his momentum against the shellshocked Briton into the opening of the second set, breaking in the second game to put himself firmly in the driving seat.
Benneteau missed a smash in the next game at the end of an amazing 53-shot rally to allow Murray a way back in, and the Dunblane-born player capitalised by reeling off the next three games.
The 27-year-old Frenchman was by now being gradually worn down by Murray’s solid groundstrokes and was powerless to prevent the Scot levelling matters by breaking again to clinch the second set 6-3.
Murray, seeded three here, broke his forlorn opponent to love in game four of the decider to go 3-1 up and never looked back.