Murray marches into Roland Garros quarters
Originally published on: 26/02/10 11:34
Andy Murray set up a French Open quarter-final clash with Fernando Gonzalez after producing a superbly consistent performance to beat No.13 seed Marin Cilic in straight sets.
The Croatian entered the match having not lost a set all tournament, but the No.3 seed proved to be a class apart from his previous opponents, posting a solid 7-5 7-6(4) 6-1 victory in two hours and 31 minutes on Court Suzanne Lenglen.
The Scot becomes only the third Briton to have made the last eight in Paris in the Open era, after Roger Taylor and Tim Henman, and has now won four straight matches on clay for the first time.
“I’m playing well – you don’t get to the quarters of the French by not playing good clay-court tennis”
After a high-quality first set contested between two of the tournament’s form players, Murray sealed the decisive break in the 11th game of the opening set at the second time of asking, when Cilic went long with a backhand. The world No.3 Murray wrapped up the set with an unreturnable serve.
When Murray broke first in the second set with more of his combative brand of clutch tennis, he looked well in control, but was broken in game eight after hooking a backhand wide at the end of a long rally.
Cilic held on by his fingernails at times with Murray wasting break points in games nine and 11, and managed to force a tie-break. Murray claimed an early mini-break and shot out to a 6-2 lead, closing it out on his third set point.
It was one way traffic in the third, and as soon as Murray broke in the second game he never looked back. Cilic then called for the trainer for treatment to his left thigh, injured running back in a vain attempt to retrieve a Murray lob. The pair exchanged breaks late on, but Murray had done enough to reach the last eight and closed the match out on his second match point.
“I played maybe two bad service games but you are always going to get moments like that in a best-of-five-set match,” said a confident Murray. “I was obviously happy to win in straight sets because he’s been playing very well.
“I’m playing well – you don’t get to the quarters of the French by not playing good clay-court tennis.”