Murray flashes past in-form Garcia-Lopez
Originally published on: 26/02/10 11:34
On a much brighter day for his second outing at Queen’s, Andy Murray posted another straight-sets victory at the AEGON Championships to progress to the quarter-finals, beating Guillermo Garcia-Lopez 6-4 6-4 in an entertaining contest.
The Spaniard, who at 27 won his first ATP title shortly before the French Open, provided a much sterner test for Murray than Andreas Seppi managed in the second round.
The world No.70 is a close match for Murray in stature, and approached the game with a similar style – looking to attack from deep and outfox the Scot with deft drop-shots and touch volleys.
“You want to come away from these tournaments feeling like you hit the ball well and moved well” – Murray
But the Spaniard had no answer to Murray’s ability to inject pace, particularly on serve, and although he maintained parity with the the Scot for the first eight games, Murray broke when it mattered and served out the set.
Garcia-Lopez, buoyed by his current run of form, continued to mix up his game with Murray serving at 1-2 early in the second set, delighting the crowd with a drop shot and deft volley combination that left Murray scrambling in vain.
Not to be outdone, the top seed produced a superb backhand lob in the next point to get back into the game, and two crushing down-the-line drives took Murray to another hold.
At 2-2 Garcia-Lopez slipped to 0-30 after leaving a passing shot that landed well inside the baseline, and was made to pay when a second Murray backhand found it’s mark on Murray’s next return. A missed forehand and a Murray side-to-side backhand combo later, and the Scot had broken for a second time, consolidating with a hold to love.
That might have knocked the wind out of many opponents, but Garcia-Lopez continued to take the game to Murray, coming out on top in an entertaining exchange of slices when he cut off
a backhand at the net on his way to 4-3.
At 30-0 in game eight, Murray produced a coach’s dream of a point. A well-placed drop shot didn’t win it, and neither did the lob over Garcia-Lopez’s backhand wing, but each was enough to maintain control of the point before a deep forehand finished it off – a perfect example of court craft and percentage play.
The tournament favourite finished the match two games later, reaching match point with an ace and clinching it when Garcia-Lopez drove a forehand wide.
Murray faces Mardy Fish in the quarter-finals after the American sent another Spaniard out, beating Feliciano Lopez 6-1 6-4.
“Once I got the break in the first set, I felt more comfortable and went for my shots a bit more,” said Murray. “I feel good. You want to come away from these tournaments feeling like you hit the ball well and moved well.
“I’ve felt good in my the first two matches and I hope to feel the same against Mardy. We know each other well and it will be a tough match.”
And the Scot was keen to thank the partizan support of the west London crowds, following the win.
“It’s nice to have to whole crowd supporting you – it doesn’t happen at too many tournaments. I expect a lot of myself and I’ll try and do well over the next few weeks.”