Murray grinds out win to reach quarter-finals
Originally published on 25/01/16 00:00
The world No.2 was too consistent for Tomic as he secured a 6-4 6-4 7-6(4) victory in two hours and 45 minutes to set up a last-eight meeting with David Ferrer.
A four-time finalist in Melbourne, Murray maintained his unbeaten record against Australian opponents with his 17th straight victory. He dropped his serve four times, but 43 winners (including 18 aces) helped the two-time Grand Slam champion secure a straight sets victory.
"It was a tricky match," said Murray. "I got up a break I think in all of the sets [and] each time he obviously got it back. So there were quite a few momentum shifts in all of the sets. I think the third set he definitely played better. He started taking a lot more chances, especially at the end of the set.
"It wasn't easy for me to get into a rhythm. Luckily he missed a few easy forehands in the tiebreak, and that helped me out in the breaker. Helped me get it done in straight sets. It's obviously never straightforward against someone with his game style. He's a different player to most."
Murray’s father-in-law Nigel Sears, coach to Ana Ivanovic, was taken to hospital on Saturday during Murray’s third round win over Joao Sousa and Murray admitted it affected his preparation for his fourth-round match.
“It's been a tough few days,” said Murray. “Obviously it depended on Nigel’s health. If the news was not positive then there was absolutely no chance I would have kept playing.
“It was a tough, emotional few days at a difficult time. For sure when things like that happen it does put things in perspective. I’m just glad he’s on his way home now and can be back with his family.”
Murray will face No.8 seed Ferrer for a place in the semi-finals after the Spaniard defeated John Isner 6-4 6-4 7-5. Isner had not dropped his serve, nor faced a break point in his opening three matches, but despite 18 aces the big-serving American struggled against Ferrer, who lost just eight points on serve in the two-hour and four minute contest.
“It’s going to be tough,” Ferrer said of his quarter-final match. “He’s playing really good tennis. He’s improved his game, I think. He’s playing more aggressively. He’s improved his forehand. So I need to have a good day and play aggressive. It it’s possible, it will be a long match.”