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Prayers for rain as Murray marches on
Thursday, May 27, 2010
By Drew Lilley
It was not always pretty, by his own estimation, but Andy Murray recorded his second win this week, defeating Juan Ignacio Chela 6-2, 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-2 in a match which stretched over two days and was twice interrupted by rain on Thursday – to the Scotsman’s satisfaction.
“I've been pretty lucky in my career so far in terms of rain breaks and not finishing matches, so it was a good experience for me, one I could have dealt with maybe a little bit better though,” the No.4 seed said. “I just felt a little bit tense at the start. Then I actually felt fine as soon as I went behind.”
Indeed, his Argentinean opponent hit hard and true in the first set of the day and the second of the match, but could not keep up this incredible rhythm, and Murray proved to be simply too consistent for him over the four sets. Though the Scotsman’s second service lacked rhythm, his first was rattling down at a good pace and won him plenty of points throughout the tie.
“Once we got into some long rallies and spent more time on the court, I felt like I moved really well, especially towards the end of the match. I played better as the match went on.
It was quite tough yesterday, because you need to stay focused the whole time, but you know when you go on there's no chance of you finishing the match. Once you get ahead, it’s a little bit normal to press or rush a little bit. When we stayed on court (today) for 30 minutes, 40 minutes, I started to feel a lot better and relaxed.”
He will face now No.25 seed Marcos Baghdatis in the third round at some point over the coming days – an adversary he respects. “He's tough to play and he's a great shot maker. He moves well, has a big serve… I haven't played him for a long time, but I've seen him play a lot of matches. He's very entertaining to watch and it's going to be tricky.”
With a little luck, the rain will continue to be Murray’s friend and allow him an extra day’s recuperation. He has played nine sets already spread over three days of tennis, and his fragile right knee needs rest, both literally and in the form of some easier matches. Grand Slams however are tests of endurance, and though the world No.4 has upped his training regime in recent years, the next 10 days – and with his home tournament at Wimbledon also just around the corner – will be a supreme test of his endurance.