No sweat for Murray on winning return to grass
Originally published on: 26/02/10 11:34
Top seed Andy Murray was rarely forced out of second gear as he posted a routine 6-1 6-4 victory over Andreas Seppi in the second round of the AEGON Championships.
On a blustery day in west London, the Italian posed few problems for the world No.3 and tournament favourite who took just under an hour to close out his first match at Queen’s Club after his bye in the first round.
Following a passive start to the match Murray reeled off six straight games. Seppi only showed glimpses of a challenge, particularly when he worked his way to the net, but succeeded in getting there on just a handful of occasions.
“This year I feel more match ready” – Murray
The Scot, for his part, was happy to trade blows from the baseline and exploited Seppi’s suspect backhand time and again as he raced away with the match, delighting the crowd on the way to his second break with a sliced backhand lob hit with so much spin that it rested inches from the point that it hit the court.
Murray’s ability to inject pace into the rally at will was proving too much for Seppi, who had come from a set down to beat Robby Ginepri in the first round, but in truth the Italian was not playing well enough even when given the chance. The first set ended with a tamely netted regulation forehand from the world No.37.
When Murray broke early in the second set the match should have been over, but suddenly Seppi found his feet, and broke back immediately as the Scot played two pairs of loose points either side of a couple of service winners.
Buoyed by the break, Seppi began to make a game of it, producing a deft drop-shot volley in response to Murray’s running backhand winner in the previous point. The near-capacity Centre Court crowd were now getting a match rather than a procession – and even the would have to concede that it made for a better spectacle.
Murray, understandably, changed his game very little despite his opponent’s newfound belief, and bided his time until the business end of the set, reaching 5-4 with a well-disguised forehand drop shot.
Serving to stay in the match, Seppi’s confidence deserted him and Murray made him pay for a string of tentative mid-court shots with a flat backhand and whipped half-volleyed forehand bringing up match point, which the Scot took at the first time of asking.
“I played one not so good game on my serve, but apart from that it was good,” said Murray afterwards. “I returned well, and I was happy with the way that I moved.”
“I don’t think Andreas played his best match, but it was just good to get a comfortable start.”
And the world No.3 believes that his fourth-round run in Paris will not count against his somewhat curtailed grass-court preparations.
“I’ve had longer to prepare for the grass in previous years because I haven’t had a great run at the French. But this season I’ve won a lot of matches, so whereas in previous years I wasn’t coming into the grass court season with as much match play as I would have liked, but this year I feel more match ready.”
Next up for Murray is Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, the world No.70 who has posted straight-sets victories against Gilles Muller and Yen-Hsun Lu to reach the third round. Murray has never previously faced the 26-year-old Spaniard, who won his first Tour event in Kitzbuehel prior to the French Open.