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Old 08-31-2008, 10:48 AM   #136
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Default Re: Andy, Articles and news

Murray - I'm here to win

Scot flexes his muscles and vows to go all the way in New York

Andy Murray paid tribute to his fitness level and believes he has what it takes to win the US Open after he clawed his way back from two sets down to beat Jurgen Melzer in the third round.

The Scottish sixth seed celebrated his pulsating 6-7 4-6 7-6 6-1 6-3 victory by pumping his muscles in a gesture that suggested he was answering critics who doubted his stamina.

After being plagued with injuries and fitness worries as a teenager, Murray revealed how hard work in the gym has given him the belief that he is now in the required physical to go all the way at Flushing Meadows.

"When I played Wimbledon the first time, I had never played four sets in my life, never mind five," Murray said.

"I did start to work hard after that. But you have to respect your body as well. And I was still doing a lot of growing.

"You can't push yourself too hard. It's not good for your body. Now I've finished growing and I can do more weights and train harder.

"In the end I think the fitter player won."

Best shot

By reaching the fourth round at Flushing Meadows, Murray equalled his previous best finish at the US Open from 2006.

The Scot faces Swiss 10th seed Stanislas Wawrinka in the next round on Monday, and Murray admits he now has one eye on claiming his first ever grand slam title.

"Well, I think when you're at a tournament like this, for me, there is a chance that I could win the tournament," Murray said.

"So I say to myself, you know, I'm going to give it my best shot to try and win.

"That's my goal for the tournament, to try to win it. I don't think that if you set yourself a target of the third round and you reach it you can kind of feel like you've achieved what you came here to do.

"I think it's better to set the bar high and maybe you don't reach it. I might not necessarily win this tournament, but if I go with the intention of doing it, it might not come as such a surprise if I do go deep."


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Old 08-31-2008, 10:50 AM   #137
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Default Re: Andy, Articles and news

Murray in thriller as he muscles past Melzer

WHEN Andy Murray was growing up, it was his dearest wish to play a big match on one of the show courts at the US Open but after two consecutive, nail-biting matches on the Grandstand Court in Flushing Meadows, he will not care if he never sees the place again.
Murray reached the fourth round of the US Open by beating Jurgen Melzer of Austria 6-7, 4-6, 7-6, 6-1, 6-3 but it was close, far too close for comfort. He will meet the Swiss 10th seed Stanislas Wawrinka next but it was some rollercoaster ride against Melzer.

The luxury of Hawk-Eye is only bestowed on the top two arenas in New York and those who are pushed out on to Grandstand have to make do with old fashioned technology and human error. And with the standard of line calling available on the court, this tournament ought to be sponsored by Specsavers.

In the previous round, Murray had complained bitterly about the officials on the far lines to the left of the umpire's chair. Yesterday he was complaining about the far lines to the right of the umpire's chair. Melzer, not to be left out, was just complaining. When Murray felt he had been robbed of a break point in the middle of the second set by yet another bad call, he stomped up to the umpire's chair and gave Emmanuel Joseph a piece of his mind. It was the opening salvo in a discussion that lasted for most of the rest of the match.

But the real cause for frustration in the Murray camp was the Scot himself. There were times when he showed flashes of brilliance, there were moments when he nailed a return – but there were not nearly enough of them. Usually the better shots came when Murray's frustration got the better of him, he stopped fretting about everything around him and simply belted the ball. More often than not, it was a winner.

Melzer, though, can infuriate anyone. A left hander with a big serve, a lot of muscle and a willingness to come to the net, he can mix it with the best on his day. And yesterday was one of his days. For much of the first three sets, he served better than Murray, he was more consistent than Murray with fewer unforced errors and had a better grasp of his game plan than Murray. He even swore better than Murray when it was his turn to have a rant to Joseph.

"He was playing really, really well," acknowledged the Scot. "He was serving close to the lines and hitting the ball so hard and flat and very deep. He was taking a lot of risks and was going in for the most part. I just had to try and hang on.

"The guy played great but it happens sometimes. I'm not that good a player that I can just blitz guys. I said it was going to be a difficult match, and he's very talented. It's tough to get in a rhythm when a guy is taking every ball on the rise, and coming to the net and mixing his serve around. He was playing well.

"When you're training and wondering why you do all the work and feeling sorry for yourself, and you kind of push through and keep working, then when you have moments like that on the court, you feel like it's all worth it."

From a reasonably positive start with the odd sniff of a chance here and there Murray slowly tied himself up in knots. It was as if he was trying too hard, often trying the most outrageous shot in his repertoire when the more straightforward option would have won the point. When he lost the second set, he attempted a volley that was doomed to failure from the moment it left his racket strings and yet he could have put the ball almost anywhere else on the court. It was that sort of day for the Scot.

Yet Murray is nothing if not a cussed soul and a born fighter. Launching a bid for a place in the second week of a grand slam from two sets down is not a play for those of a nervous disposition but Murray has made it his trademark this summer, roaring his way to victory against Richard Gasquet from just such a deficit at Wimbledon.

Trying the tactic again, he finally got the breakthrough he craved after more than two hours by breaking the Melzer serve to take a 3-2 lead in the third set. Punching the air and dancing back to his chair, he had given himself a glimmer of hope by converting a break point chance. Nine had gone begging but at last one of them had gone his way.

Even so, the crisis was not over and three games later Murray was back in trouble, facing three break points of his own. For once, Melzer let him off the hook with a couple of backhand errors but two games later, as Murray was serving for the set and holding a set point, he caught the Scot with the old drop-shot-and-lob combo and Murray's lead was wiped out.

Forced into the tiebreak, he scrapped to give himself a chance of another set. Earning a set point with a 138mph ace, he moved into the fourth set with the clock ticking towards three hours. After all that effort and all that tension, it was – at last – game on for the Scot. As he raised his levels, so Melzer dipped slightly and suddenly the balance of power was shifted.

Melzer threw the fourth set away and by the fifth he was all but exhausted and took a medical time out to have his legs massaged back into life. Meanwhile Murray, after all his hard work in the gym and on the practice court, was still very much ready for the fight and was still on his toes to make the most of Melzer's mistakes. As the Austrian fired a tired forehand over the baseline, he was broken and went 4-3 down. There was no way back from there and after 3hrs 52mins Murray had wrapped it up.

Flexing his biceps, just as he had after beating Gasquet in five sets at Wimbledon, he was into the fourth round and an appointment with Wawrinka tomorrow. Whether his followers' nerves can stand another Murray spectacular is another matter.

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Old 09-02-2008, 12:54 PM   #138
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"I loved every minute"

Quote:
Q. You must be very pleased with that?

Yeah, it was great. You know, the first match I've played on that court. I've been looking forward to it for a long, long time. To play like that made it pretty special.

Q. In terms of Grand Slam matches, where would you rate that one?

Yeah, I think in terms of the way that I played throughout the whole match, I didn't lose my concentration at all, which is tough in five‑set matches.

Obviously I've beaten better players than Stan, but that level of performance throughout the whole match was probably my best one of all the Slams I played.

Q. You've watched Justine Henin play matches on this court before. What was it actually like to be down there playing? How did you feel? Was it everything you thought it would be?

I've watched so many matches on the TV that I kind of knew what to expect. I watched a few matches from the stands. It's such a huge stadium that the noise is ‑‑ there's always a buzz during the points, and it's a little bit different to anywhere I've played before.

Yeah, I loved every minute of it.

Q. Given such a magnificent stage, do you feel you had to fight the urge to entertain the crowd rather than just win functionally?

I'm obviously still young, but I think when you're sort of 18 and 19 years old and you play on a court like that, it's, yeah, you feel like you want to do something extra special.

Now you just got to get the job done and try and win three sets as quickly as possible. You don't want those matches going on any longer than they need to.

Q. You're now playing a guy that's won 23 successive matches. Could you have given yourself more or better momentum going into this?

Well, I mean, if I'd won in five sets I would have been happy with that as well. I think in Slams the only important thing is to win the matches. But to play like that was obviously great; gives me a bit extra confidence.

Wasn't such a long match, so I'm not going to be tired tomorrow. Got a rest day then, yeah, going to be a tough match against Del Potro.

But I think I'm playing well enough to win.

Q. What lies behind this incredible run that he's suddenly got himself on from what you've seen?

He doesn't miss a whole a lot. He moves pretty well for a big guy. You know, he does everything good. He's got a good crosscourt backhand and, you know, he just hits the ball hard and solid and doesn't make a whole a lot of mistakes.

When you watch him, I don't think that you see anything that's unbelievably special. When you're playing as solid as he does and you don't miss that many balls and you've got confidence and you don't lose for a while, you come through matches. He's done that the last few months.

Q. Is there any feeling of unfinished business with him after Rome? He finished as though it was the end of his career. He was in tears and he was helped off.

Not for me there wasn't any unfinished business. I don't know how he feels about it. Guys get hurt all the time in tennis. You know, you hope it doesn't happen. You obviously want to win the long way. Happens sometimes.

Q. I meant unfinished business with what happened before that with the mouthing and the...

I haven't spoken to him since, so whether there is or not, for me it's another tennis match. Stan is one of my closest friends today, but when you get on the court you've got to put your emotions aside and get the job done.

Whether I like Del Potro or not really doesn't make any difference. When you get on the tennis court it's another match, and you've got to win.

Q. Did you get the sense from the word go you were in the mood and going to be in the groove? Your shot making was as crisp and as sharp as I can recall.

I felt like I was hitting the ball well. Again, when you play against someone as good as Stan, top 10 player, they're always going to raise their level a bit. There's going to be situations where you have to sort of fight your way through.

I think when I was a couple breakpoints down in the second set, those sort of moments you have to try and come through. I did that really well.

But, yeah, I mean, in those types of situation, on courts as big as that, the start of the match is so important, and I knew that. I warmed up really well beforehand and wanted to try to get ahead early on early and set the tone for the match.

I did that really well by breaking in the first game.

Q. Would you say that you went into the match with a more aggressive frame of mind than you did against Melzer?

Just a different match. Melzer and Llodra both serve volleying, coming in on second serves, going for broke, you know, have very different game styles to Stan. I have a game plan for every single match. Sometimes it takes a little bit longer for it to work out in the end.

Tonight I hit the ball really well at the start and got ahead early. I think both of us have probably played long matches in the last round. Really important to start well, and I think his head went down a little bit when I broke him in the second.

Q. Are you a bit surprised after what happened between you and Del Potro in Rome that he hasn't tried to clear the air at all?

Not really. I've known him since we were really young. Doesn't really bother me. I wasn't great friends with him before. I don't need to be friends with him now.

So, no, I'm not surprised.

Q. Is there any time to enjoy being world No. 5 in the middle of a Grand Slam when you're giving yourself a great shot?

Well, I think a good chance that I'll go up to 4. Depending on I think ‑‑ I think Davydenko needs to make at least a semis, you know, for me to stay at No. 5.

But, yes, it's great. I've really had a good year. I think I pretty much qualify for the Master's Cup now, which was my goal for the start of the year. Last few months have been great, so hopefully I can keep the run going in the next round and try and go as far as possible here.

Q. Having made a quarterfinal before at a Grand Slam, what can you take from that? What do you learn that you'll use this time, if anything?

I don't think there's a huge difference between playing a fourth round match in a Slam, quarterfinal. I think once you start to get to the final, that's when it changes a little bit. You've got potential to sort of make history and go down as a great tennis player.

The last Slam quarter I played I got killed and Nadal played way too good for me, but I feel like I'm playing better now. I'm definitely going to be more rested this time round and hopefully play a better match.

Q. It's a long time back, but do you have that feeling when you won the juniors here?

Yeah. Well, I mean, for me those courts, regardless of how I was playing before I came to the States or whatever, I feel good every time I come on those courts.

I played great when I was a junior here and had some good results here in the past. I just really enjoy playing here.

So whether it's just something that I haven't sort of brought into the tournament before, feeling great beforehand, but just as soon as the tournament starts I've always felt comfortable playing here.

Q. Were there any kind of sights and sounds from being on court that you hadn't expected?

Well, the guys from Entourage, the show, came to watch. That's my favorite show. Watch it all the time. So that was a little bit strange. That was the only thing that was surprising to me.

Q. Did you know they were going to be there, or did you find out when they announced it in the middle of the match?

I knew Ari Gold, Jeremy Pivens is his name, I knew he was here beforehand, but I didn't know all the other guys were coming. I was watching Regis and Kelly this morning and I saw Jeremy Pivens was in New York, so I was guessing. I think he's on Regis and Kelly tomorrow morning. I guessed he might be here promoting the new show. I think starts in a week or so.

Q. Jamie had a good result tonight as well. What would it mean to both still be here in the final weekend?

Yeah, it would be great. His record in mixed has been unbelievable. I think the last three, maybe four Slams, he's lost to the winners. Could be wrong, but definitely the last three, I think.

He's in the semis again, and the team that he beat tonight are very, very good. He's doing really well. Hopefully, yeah, we can both keep winning.

Q. For those of us who lead sad lives, what's so good about Entourage?

Just got to watch it. It's a great show.

Q. Is it a comedy?

Yeah, it's comedy. Yeah. It's very, very good show, yeah.

Q. Did you get the impression that playing the Macarena during breaks of play at Wimbledon might help the atmosphere?

The most important thing is that the fans get entertained. Whether that be from the tennis or everything else that's going on around, that doesn't really matter.

But Wimbledon get huge crowds every single year, so they're doing fine. I enjoy playing in this atmosphere.

Q. Do you know if your mum is coming out?

No, not that I know of.

Q. Are you tempted to watch replays of yourself when you're sitting there and they show back the better volleys?

Yeah, I always watch. I think most people watch the replays when they're on the court. They normally only show good points, so that's why you watch it.
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Old 09-02-2008, 01:03 PM   #139
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Brilliant Murray into last eight

By Piers Newbery

Andy Murray produced one of the best performances of his career to sweep aside Stanislas Wawrinka and reach the quarter-finals of the US Open.

The British number one, 21, dominated from the outset and wrapped up a 6-1 6-3 6-3 victory in one hour 49 minutes.

And the quality of Murray's play will have boosted his credentials as a real title contender at Flushing Meadows.

The Scot will next meet 19-year-old Argentine, Juan Martin del Potro, who is on a 23-match winning streak.

It will be the second consecutive Grand Slam quarter-final for Murray, who lost heavily to Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon and could face a rematch with the Spaniard in the last four in New York.

Murray must first beat the form man on tour in 6ft 6in Del Potro, who has won his last four tournaments and saw off Kei Nishikori of Japan 6-3 6-4 6-3 on Monday.

But if he can repeat the form of Monday night there is no reason Murray should fear anyone in the draw.

He had struggled at times in the early rounds, needing four sets to beat Michael Llodra before coming back from two sets down to beat Jurgen Melzer.

And with a 3-3 record against Switzerland's Wawrinka - the world number 10 - tournament officials clearly expected a titanic struggle when they gave the clash top billing as the night match on Arthur Ashe Stadium.

It may have been the first time in the 20,000-seater arena for both men but Murray looked much the more comfortable from the start.

He broke Wawrinka three times in a flawless first set that saw him equally strong off both forehand and backhand from the baseline, and occasionally darting to the net to shorten the points.

Wawrinka managed to save a break point early in the second set and looked briefly threatening at 3-3, but Murray took the initiative again in game eight, stepping inside the baseline to force the errors and grab a vital break.

When under pressure at 0-30 while serving for the set, Murray again found inspiration with a blistering backhand winner and a deft drop volley.

And he wasted no time in moving clear in the third set, getting to 0-40 in game three and stepping inside the baseline to thump away another backhand return.

Murray broke again to seal the win and, from a player who sometimes struggles to maintain his form throughout a match, it was his most clinical display to date.

"It was the first match I've played on that court," he said afterwards. "I've been looking forward to it for a long, long time, and to play like that made it pretty special.

"To play like that was obviously great, it gives me a bit of extra confidence.

"The last (Grand) Slam quarter I played (at Wimbledon), I got killed and (Rafael) Nadal played way too good for me, but I feel like I'm playing better now.

"I'm definitely going to be more rested this time round and hopefully play a better match. I think I'm playing well enough to win."

Murray's win over Wawrinka assures him of a place in the world's top five when the ATP rankings are updated after the US Open.

Jamie Murray made it through to the semi-finals of the mixed doubles as he and American partner Liezel Huber won a dramatic match against second seeds Katarina Srebotnik and Nenad Zimonjic.

The pair won the last five points in the decisive tie-break for a (7-5) 6-7 (9-11) 11-9 victory.

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Old 09-02-2008, 04:08 PM   #140
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Thank you Oksan4ik That interview was great to read.
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Old 09-04-2008, 12:58 PM   #141
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Courageous Andy Murray battles way through to US Open semi-finals

Neil Harman

There was a rosy red tint to the Manhattan skyline last night and a rosy hue in the cheeks of Andy Murray as he celebrated a place in the semi-finals of a grand-slam tournament for the first time.

As ever with Murray it was a performance that teased, tricked and tormented not only his opponent, Juan Martín Del Potro, who has been in the form of his life, but everyone else at Flushing Meadows, Murray included. The Scot, 21, who will join Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski as British players who have reached No 4 in the world, emulated Henman’s performance in the US Open in 2004, when he reached the last four and had the misfortune to come up against Roger Federer in his pomp.

Murray will now have two days to reflect on his 7-6, 7-6, 4-6, 7-5 victory last night before he meets Rafael Nadal, the world No 1, on “Super Saturday”. The British No 1 has been involved in many titanic struggles of this kind, but not with this much resting on the outcome.

"There were some intense moments but I was just glad to come through," Murray said. "He was on an unbelievable winning streak. He had confidence. I knew I was going to have to fight a lot."

There were passages of play of sublime tennis, glorious symphonies played from his strings, and times too when his attempts to reel in Del Potro were resisted with all the muscle and confidence that 23 matches without defeat had hardened in the Argentinian. In the end, it came down to sheer character.

The opening game was symptomatic of the way the match would unfold. Murray managed to succeed with only one of his five first serves and then held serve without much fuss and bother. Del Potro did not miss with a first serve in the next game and was broken to 30, thanks finally to the first of many backhands he would net because of the zones of discomfort into which he was being guided.

Perhaps there was a bit too much of a Scottish cruise control in the opening exchanges because Del Potro, when he did come alive, broke Murray twice in a row, thanks largely to a handful of double faults. From appearing to have the set under control, Murray was suddenly serving to stay in it.

These are the trials that so often bring out his best. A backhand error and a double fault winded Del Potro and then Murray brought up a couple of break points with a wonderful lob that his opponent pursued vigorously, but Murray cut off his response with a delicate forehand volley. Having saved two break points, Del Potro succumbed on the third, a backhand that landed wide — a call confirmed by the Hawk-Eye challenge system.

The moment that swung the tie-break was a forehand drop shot — such a difficult trick to pull off, though something of a Murray forte. When Del Potro’s ensuing forehand was mis-hit over the baseline, Murray had control; another wild forehand by Del Potro and the set had been nailed.

One hoped that Murray, relaxed now, might decide to start playing as he had against Stanislas Wawrinka in the previous round: take the game to his opponent, strike with a touch more abandon, impose himself on proceedings. Instead, he remained content to trade up the middle of the court, seeking, it seemed, to want to wear Del Potro down as much as beat him.

It was an intriguing tactic that seem dangerous when Murray had to survive break points in his second and third service games of the set, though his response was characteristically dependable. There is nothing like the scent of a crisis to stir Murray’s competitive juices and it was not a surprise when he broke Del Potro in the eleventh game to serve for the set.

What was a shock was Murray’s next game, four successive unforced errors, including a woeful backhand drop shot, and he was forced into a second tie-break. Murray played a second tremendous series of sudden-death points and had surely grabbed the match by the scruff of its neck. He surrendered the third set but won a pulsating fourth to go through.

"I'm very relieved. I had my chances to put it away earlier and let it slip away," Murray said. "It feels great to be in the semi-finals. After a match like that it makes it feel even better."

His big brother, Jamie, has his moment in the sun today when he teams up with Liezel Huber, born in South Africa but now a naturalised American citizen, in the mixed doubles final. Beaten in the semi- finals last year, their opponents are Leander Paes and Cara Black, of Zimbabwe.

www.timesonline.co.uk
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Old 09-04-2008, 01:01 PM   #142
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Magic Murray in dreamland as he breaks new ground

By Alix Ramsay


JUST ten days in New York and four hours on the Arthur Ashe Stadium have changed Andy Murray's world forever.
The Scot beat Juan Martin Del Potro 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-1), 4-6, 7-5 last night to reach the first grand slam semi-final of his career. And by winning the match, he ensured that his ranking will be up to No4 when the new world order is published on Monday. Murray is now living with the big boys, the very best of the best.

There is every possibility that he will face Rafael Nadal on Saturday, one of only three men in the world who are better at playing tennis than Murray. Those are the sort of matches Murray has dreamed of playing since he was a boy.

Playing Del Potro, a teenager from Argentina, may not have been the highest-profile match of the whole tournament, but it was a massive moment for Murray. This match was his ticket to the top.

It was not a match that he will remember with affection and the third set is one which he would rather forget, but the very fact came through it will fill him with enormous pride.

For the first few games, Murray seemed not to have broken step from Monday night when he pummelled Stanislas Wawrinka in the previous round. Back on his favourite court, still wearing his favourite grey shirt, he had taken the first set by the scruff of the neck within a matter of minutes.

Del Potro had warned before the match that their match in Rome, the bad-tempered affair that almost had the two men exchanging insults, meant nothing. Playing down the bad blood between him and the Scot, he wanted a quiet day at the office and pointed out that this was a different day, a different surface and a different situation.

What Del Potro omitted to mention was this was a different Murray, too.

He came with a simple yet effective gameplan – starve the big man of pace and wait for the mistakes to rack up. It worked like a dream as Murray sprinted to a 3-0 lead, slicing his backhand, looping his forehand and leaving the Argentine to try and whip up some fizz and bite on his shots. More often than not they ended up in the net.

Murray was also dragging Del Potro into the net with drop shots and then lobbing him to send him racing back again. At 6ft 6in tall, movement is not the strongest suit in the Argentine's game but, even so, lobbing anyone of that height takes some doing yet Murray did it to perfection.

But then Murray changed tack. Instead of infuriating Del Potro with guile and nous, he started playing the Argentine at his own game. Putting more muscle behind his shots, he gave his opponent the pace he craved and was gradually pushed further and further back as Del Porto started slapping his forehand and knocking the cover off the ball.

Only when Del Potro came to serve for the set did the nerves kick in and as the big man became more tentative, so Murray dragged him into a long and patient rally on break point and forced him into the error. Once into the tie-break, the Scot was soon in charge and with a drop shot that dropped over the net and landed gently beyond the Argentine's flapping racket, he took the lead and never let it go.

Del Potro came to the quarter-final on a 23-match winning run that stretched back to just after Wimbledon. The 19-year-old has played a lot of tennis this summer and by the end of the first set, the effort had taken his toll and he needed treatment for a knee problem. But still he would not slow down or give up.

By the second set, the Scot had taken his courage and his chances in both hands. Playing from the first row of the stands was not going to get him into the semi finals and even if in pushing forward he ran the risk of getting overwhelmed by the occasional flashing winner from Del Potro, he was in a position to bully his man and control the point if his chance came.

He may have made a hash of serving for the set – offering up his service game with four unforced errors – but he went for the jugular in the tie-break, conceding just one point as he took a two-set lead.

But that was when Murray's nerves got the better of him. The nearer he got to the finish line, the tighter he got and from being 3-1 up in the third set, he dropped serve twice to lose the third set and was quickly a break down in the fourth.

There was no let-up from Del Potro and when he achieved three more break points at 3-3, the Scot could not hold out.

But at just the wrong moment for the teenager, a few errors crept back into his game and – coupled with one brilliant retrieval from Murray – the sixth seed broke straight back.

In a turnaround as dramatic as the one Del Potro had mustered in the third set, Murray was now back on top and won his service game to love to move to the brink of victory.

But if he had hoped his opponent would crumble he was to be disappointed, the Argentine seemingly nerveless as he levelled easily. Serving to stay in the match a second time proved a different story, however, as errors from Del Potro gave Murray two match points – and when the Argentine put a backhand wide three hours and 58 minutes of great drama was over, and the Scot screamed his delight into the New York sky.

Meanwhile, Roger Federer scraped into the quarter-finals late on Tuesday, yet his fist-pumping celebration of a five-set win over a relatively modest opponent did as much to demonstrate the Swiss' perceived vulnerability as his title threat. The former world No1 beat Russia's Igor Andreev 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (7-5), 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, and the normally even-tempered Federer celebrated with an enthusiasm that he rarely exhibited even in his 12 grand-slam title wins.

Federer's opponent in the quarters will be Luxembourg's Gilles Muller, who pulled off a big upset by ousting Russian No5 seed Nikolay Davydenko 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (12-10).

Novak Djokovic, the third-seeded Serb, struggled to a five-set win over Tommy Robredo, beating the Spaniard 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 to set up a quarter-final clash with American Andy Roddick. The eighth seed routed Chile's Fernando Gonzalez 6-2, 6-4, 6-1.

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Old 09-08-2008, 01:34 PM   #143
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Default Re: Andy, Articles and news

"Awesome to beat him"

Quote:
Q. What was your attitude going into today?

It was tough. There was a lot of things I had to deal with. Change of court was just tough, you know, a very different atmosphere today.

It was quite windy out there as well. Obviously yesterday the conditions were pretty heavy, very humid.

Today it was very windy on the court. The ball was flying through the air a bit more. I just had to try and stay calm.

I thought I was playing well enough to win the match, but I knew Nadal was going to come at me. There was a few sort of ups and downs even though it was a very short time we were out on the court, but I managed to come through in the end.

Q. Was there a certain frame of mind you had knowing that you already had a break that you were facing that third set?

Well, I mean, I think once he ‑‑ the momentum, even though I had two sets, I would have much preferred to be in my position than his.

The momentum was kind of with him a little bit in the third set. He held serve easy the first couple of games, and I don't think either of us dropped a point maybe the first couple of service games.

So,I just had to try and stay aggressive, stay focused. I knew, because of the wind from the far side of the court from where we came out, it's much easier to return from that end, and I knew I was going to have some chances, so I had to just try and stay focused on that.

Q. Could you talk a bit about the swings of emotion and I guess your thought process after that second game of the fourth set?

Yeah. Obviously I had a lot of chances to break. There was only ‑‑ I think there was only one point where I really had, you know ‑‑ it was maybe a couple. I don't know how many breakpoints I had, six or seven.

He only missed one first serve in those points, so even though I had break chances, he played well on them and I missed a couple of shots that I maybe shouldn't have.

I thought that even though I got broken the following game, I still kept my emotions in check. I knew I was going to have chances to get back in the match and I obviously did.

Q. Did it make you more nervous or much more at ease having to sleep on the match last night being up 2‑Love?

I slept absolutely fine yesterday. I didn't feel nervous. Going out into the match, I was in a good position.

It was just like I said earlier, it was very different to yesterday with the completely different court, different conditions. That's I think the first time, maybe second time on ‑‑ since I been on the tour when I've actually had to come back the following day, so that was tough for me.

Q. The crowd was a little bit more Nadal in the beginning. I guess they didn't want to see a 15‑minute match coming out here. Did that do anything for you? Did that fire you up at least, the crowd being against you and then for you in the fourth set?

No. If I was a spectator today, I would have rather watched more tennis as well. You kind of understand why they do it, but the atmosphere was still awesome.

They know tennis here. When there was good points, they applauded for both. Obviously they wanted to see more tennis, which was fine by me. By the end of the match, I thought it was pretty even, you know, and obviously finished off well.

Q. How would you describe how the pressures and the attention in Britain have prepared you for the toughest of situations playing the likes of Nadal and Federer and being in your first Slam final?

For me, that didn't really have much to do with it. The things that prepared me for these situations was when I went over to train in Spain when I was 15 and sort of, for me, it was much tougher being away from my family for a long time rather than whether people expect me to win Slams or winning Wimbledon.

That was much tougher for me, and I did that from a young age. When you put in the work off the court, and, I have said this many times in press conferences, when you go into matches and physically you put the work in and you've worked really hard, you don't have any excuses when you get on the court. You just think about tennis.

In the past I maybe did think about pressure because I hadn't worked maybe as hard as I should have, but now that's not the case.

Q. With that in mind, with all the work that you put in, you were just cracking balls left and right today. Talk about match point and what your mindset was going up to that dropshot.

Well, I mean, it was probably maybe only the second dropshot he'd hit in the match. I was quite a long way behind the baseline.

On these courts, you're going to get a chance to get to the ball unless you hit a great dropshot, because obviously the bounce is really high. I just had to keep my head down and watch the ball, and that was that.

Yeah, I didn't feel particularly nervous. I just felt like I was hitting the ball well. I was in a great position.

Q. Just talk about playing Roger, because you've got a winning record against him. Does that give you a bit more confidence going into tomorrow?

I've played well against him in the past. I think a Slam final is different to the match that I played against him before.

He's obviously won over 30 matches in a row here, so he's obviously going to be feeling confident going in.

He's got loads of experience in these situations and it's something new for me. I know I'm going to have to play great to have a chance of winning, but I've played well the last couple of weeks.

Q. Do you have another level to rise to as well as you've played lately? And secondly, have you ever heard of Brigadoon?

No to the second one, and I don't know. I mean, I played well enough to beat the No. 1 player in the world over two days, and I've beaten Roger in the past.

I think it's more I have the tennis to compete with those guys. I just have to make sure I do it for three out of five sets rather than for a set and a half, two sets.

Q. We all now how proud you are of your biceps now. Can you talk about mental muscle and whether your stronger mentality is just a result of on‑court results or whether there's something else you've been doing off the court?

Like I said, I started working with a new team at the end of last ‑‑ the end of last year. I started to train physically way harder. The pain that you feel off the court is ‑‑ when you're running around the track is much worse than anything you feel on the tennis court.

I go on the court now without feeling like I have anything to worry about, because I've worked hard and practiced hard and given myself the best opportunity to play well. All I've got to do is play tennis, which is one of the few things that I'm good at.

Q. So the mentality follows physical strength; is that what you're saying?

Yeah. I think when you go on the court and you haven't put in the work off it and you haven't practiced as hard as you should have done, there's a lot of things ‑‑ you can find excuses for why you're not playing well or why you're getting tired and stuff.

I think that maybe in the past that was the case, but now I've been traveling with a fitness trainer every week this year and working physically hard off the court. It's taken seven or eight months, but it's paying off.

Q. I heard you on court saying that this was your favorite tournament.

Yeah.

Q. I'd like to know why is it more favorite than Wimbledon, or you did it because you wanted to please the crowd or because you were so happy of probably having the best match of your life in terms of importance today?

I've always loved playing at Wimbledon; no question about that. But since I came here as a junior, it was the first time I ever stayed in a 5‑star hotel. You know, New York is one of my favourite cities. I love it.

I came when I was a junior to watch the final of the women's singles. I watched Clijsters against Henin, a night match, on Arthur Ashe.

For me, the atmosphere and everything that goes with the center court here kind of suits my personality a bit more than Wimbledon.

Since I came here the first time as a junior, I've loved every minute of it. We got to eat in the same restaurant as the pro players here. I got to meet Coria, who was my favourite player at the time. Every since I was 15, 16 years old, I've loved playing here.

Q. Obviously you play the sport of tennis for yourself. It's been so long, decades, since a Brit has won here. Two things: What do you think winning here would mean for British sport? And secondly, what do you find so appealing, so funny about Will Ferrell?

Well, to the first one, I think, yeah, tennis in the UK. has had ‑‑ obviously Tim was incredibly consistent and one of the best players for a long time. He never won a Slam.

I think that sometimes in sport it takes, you know, like with rugby back home when England won the World Cup and rugby, it became a huge sport pretty much overnight.

Cricket, when England won against Australia and the Ashes, that went from being a smaller sport to having a lot of cricketers became celebrities after that. It was a much sort of cooler sport.

I just think when you have a team or someone who wins the big events, it makes a big difference to the popularity of a sport in your country.

Then with Will Ferrell, I don't know why. He's a funny guy. His face ‑‑ I don't know. It's not ‑‑ like his eyes, I don't know. He always makes me laugh, since I saw him for the first time.

Q. Did you see him on the JumboTron today?

Yeah.

Q. Did you see what he did?

Yeah, I saw him. He made me laugh.

Q. Do you think he was imitating you?

Yeah. And then I met him after the match, so that was nice.

Q. Are you hoping that this will take tennis in Britain to a different level? You're making a big impact in that way?

Firstly, I obviously want to win for myself, for my family and my friends and everyone that's been part of what I've done so far. That's the most important thing for me.

Then if the popularity of tennis grows because of me doing well, then that's great. I've always tried to do bits and pieces for British tennis when I'm back home and have the time. This is ‑‑ I think no matter what you do, how many little things you do, when you do something big like this I think that's when the big difference happens.

Q. You've always said that two or three years away will be your peak. The work you did in Florida, has that fast‑tracked you to get here quicker than you thought?

No, I think I'll still play better in a couple years. I think there are many things that I can improve on. One of the key things this year has been mentally I've gotten much, much better, and that has made a big difference. Then physically, I can still get stronger.

I think when you play more matches and get more experience in the big situations you understand what things you can improve and what things maybe break down a little bit and that you're going need to work on. I'm only starting to get the sort of big match experience this year.

Q. He specializes in running guys ragged. You seemed to be, in all the rallies, seemed very comfortable and not really pushed out of your comfort zone. Is that anticipation, or do you feel like you're reading his game very well?

Every time I played him on hard courts, I've always felt like I wasn't getting pushed around the court. I always felt like I was dictating a lot of the points.

His strokes, although they have a lot of topspin, if you play close up to the baseline, they come to you at quite a nice height. He doesn't normally hit the ball very close to the baseline. He hits it obviously high with a lot of topspin, but it can come short.

If you can take your opportunities early in the rally to get a good strike in, you can dictate a lot of the points.

That's what I tried to do in the past against him and had chances in each match that I played against him but just never won the big points and never returned well.

I said before the match I was going to have to return better to have a chance to win, and that's what I did.

Q. You said on court you were relieved to win. Was that your overriding emotion or your pride and satisfaction coming in?

I'm obviously delighted to be in my first Slam final. But, you know, like I said at the start of the tournament, I want to try and win it. After playing so well yesterday and everything that went on with the rain and the court changes and stuff, you know, obviously going a break behind in the fourth, it was, you know, almost slipping away slightly.

Then to come back in the end, you're relieved that you managed to come through. No, I'm obviously delighted that I won the match, I mean, against a guy who's played as well as him. He's the best player in the world this year because he's played great tennis.

Q. If you could describe the biggest similarities and differences between you and Roger Federer when you're out on the court, what would those be?

I think we're quite natural tennis players. I think with our hands we're pretty gifted.

And then things that are different? I think he plays a more aggressive style right now than me. He'll look to come forward a bit more.

I think when we're returning, I play a bit more defensive on the return games. I try to put a lot of returns back, whereas he maybe tries to go for a bit more on his returns. Those are the main differences.

Q. Have you ever seen playing Miloslav Mecir who is playing a little bit like you? Do you know anything about him?

I met him the first time at the Olympics. He was there with Slovakian team with Hrbaty. I had never seen him play, but I don't know if you saw a lot of the ‑‑ you get given pins from your country which you exchange with the other athletes. He was trying to switch pins with me because I had a couple that he ‑‑ he's been ‑‑ I think that was like his fifth Olympics that he had been to maybe.

He had a pin which wasn't very common, so I got their pins in exchange for that one. I've not seen him play.

Q. About two years ago I was asked by some British colleagues to attend a press conference of yours because sometimes there were some problems between you and the media. Do you think these problems are overcome because you're winning more, because you're talking less about the fact that you're Scottish and not English and things like that, or do you think this will improve?

ANDY MURRAY: I think once you get older, you start to understand how the press works a bit better. When I first came on the scene at Wimbledon in 2005, I had done very few press conferences.

I had never played in front of a lot of people before. I was used to playing in futures events and stuff.

All of a sudden I was the center of attention at the biggest tennis tournament in the world. It's very different to what I was used to, so it took me some time to ‑‑ I'm not someone who liked sort of celebrity life. I like to just relax with my friends and family.

I don't go out my way to do a lot of press stuff. I found it tough at the start because there was a lot of press requests and what have you. So I had a few problems early on in my career, but I think I'm dealing with it much better now. I think you get used to it.

Q. Given all the work that you have put in on your physical conditioning, do you have any concern at all about the difference in turnaround time that you've got to play this final in less than 24 hours and Roger having had two days?

Ideally, I think you'd want to be in his position I think it's slightly better, but it's a Grand Slam final and I'm not going to let 24 hours of rest or, you know, having to play today or whatever get in the way of giving 110%.

I'll try my best to win the match. That's not going to be the difference tomorrow.

Q. You mentioned the importance of returns today. Nadal is not necessarily known for having a huge serve, but you stayed back. Could you describe your thinking on the return and game plan?

Well, with his serve, he doesn't have a big serve, but he puts so much spin on the serve that if you stand close up to the baseline, for me, you know, he can get it into your body.

It's quite tough to read because he moves the racquet very fast, you know, just as he's about to make contact.

It's a tough serve to read, even though it's not particularly big. I gave myself a lot of time and didn't get aced ‑‑ I probably got aced once, twice today. But I was getting myself into a lot of the points, and that's what you need to do against someone like that, you know, who normally has to work pretty hard for his points.

If you're giving a lot of cheap ones from his serve, he's going dominate you.

Q. Do you feel that Roger has raised the level of his play in this tournament, especially in the match against Djokovic, relative to how he's played the rest of the year?

I didn't see him play against Djokovic that much. I saw a little bit before I went out, and it looked like they were playing pretty well.

But I think he played well at the start and then had obviously a tough match with Andreev. I mean, he made the final at Wimbledon, the final of the French Open, the semis of Australian Open, and he's in the final here.

It's like an unbelievable run, and I don't understand why everyone thinks he's not playing well. He's played unbelievable in the best tournaments and he's in the final for the fifth straight year here. It's a ridiculous run. I think he's playing great. I just think the level of tennis has got better.

andymurray.com
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Old 09-08-2008, 01:40 PM   #144
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Default Re: Andy, Articles and news

Andy Murray claims best is yet to come ahead of US Open final with Roger Federer

By Clive White

Andy Murray reckons that reaching the US Open final is only the beginning and that the best of him is yet to come.

The British No1 is also hoping that if he can pull off a victory in today’s final against Roger Federer here it will revitalise the sport in the same way that England’s victories in the 2003 World Cup and the 2005 Ashes revitalised rugby and cricket, respectively. “It made them more cool,” he said.

Win or lose today Murray believes British fans won’t see the best of him for a couple of years yet. Reaching his first grand slam a little earlier than some had forecast didn’t mean he had reached potential earlier than expected. “I think I’ll still play better in a couple of years,” he said after beating the world No1 Rafael Nadal when their semi-final match resumed yesterday following Saturday’s storms.

“There are many things that I can improve on. One of the key things this year has been mentally I’ve gotten much, much better, and that has made a big difference. Then physically, I can still get stronger.”

The off-season training he did in Florida had obviously helped. From being a player with numerous physical issues, it seemed, he has become one of the fittest on the Tour. A lot of it had to do with waiting until his young body was strong enough to take on the extra training.

“I started working with a new team at the end of last year,” he said. “I started to train physically way harder. When you’re running around the track it is much worse than anything you feel on the tennis court. I go on the court now without feeling like I have anything to worry about because I’ve worked hard and practised hard and given myself the best opportunity to play well. All I’ve got to do is play tennis, which is one of the things that I’m good at.”

Reaching his first grand slam quarter-final this summer, at Wimbledon, and then winning his first Masters Series final in Cincinnati were key to his progress. “When you get more experience in the big situations you understand what things you can improve and what things maybe break down a little bit and that you’re going to need to work on. I’m only starting to get the sort of big match experience this year.”

But it’s major victories that will help grow the sport, he feels. “Tim [Henman] was incredibly consistent and one of the best players for a long time. He never won a slam. Sometimes in sport it takes, like with rugby back home when England won the World Cup and rugby became a huge sport, pretty much overnight. Cricket, when England won against Australia in the Ashes, that went from being a smaller sport to having a lot of cricketers, they became celebrities after that. It was a much sort of cooler sport.”

Murray is confident ahead of his match against Federer, whom he leads 2-1 in head-to-heads. “I played well enough to beat the No1 player in the world over two days, and I’ve beaten Roger in the past. I have the tennis to compete with those guys. I just have to make sure I do it for three out of five sets rather than for a set and a half or two sets.”

He poured scorn on the idea that the 12-time grand slam champion was not the player he used to be. The reason why he didn’t dominate as much as before was because other players had got better. “He made the final at Wimbledon, the final of the French Open, the semis of Australian Open, and he's in the final here,” said Murray.

“It's like an unbelievable run, and I don't understand why everyone thinks he's not playing well. He's played unbelievable in the best tournaments and he's in the final for the fifth straight year here. It's a ridiculous run. I think he's playing great. I just think the level of tennis has got better.”


www.telegraph.co.uk
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Old 09-15-2008, 10:55 AM   #145
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Default Re: Andy, Articles and news

Union hits out at Andy Murray's swearing

Stuart MacDonald


The head of School Leaders Scotland attacks tennis star over outbursts on court


Andy Murray has been accused by the leader of Scotland’s main head teachers’ union of setting a bad example to children by swearing and losing his temper on court.

Ken Cunningham, general secretary of School Leaders Scotland, said the Dunblane-born tennis star should show more respect for officials and curb his volatile behaviour.

Murray, whose appearance in the US Open final in New York last week propelled him to No 4 in the world, was seen by millions of tennis fans mouthing expletives as he was beaten in straight sets by Roger Federer.

In May this year he was heard swearing during a match with Juan Martin del Potro, after the Argentinian insulted his mother, and the following month was reprimanded for his language during a last-16 tie at Wimbledon.

In 2006, the British Davis Cup team was fined £1,434 after Murray swore at an umpire during a doubles match and he let rip with another outburst at Wimbledon later that year.

“If he continues like that, somebody needs to have a word with him,” said Cunningham. “All that goes into making him great goes alongside the other bits and pieces, and there’s another bit of his life that he needs to sort out.

“He is a very successful role model in terms of success, but you have to put it in context. It’s not just about being successful, it’s about being successful and positive in terms of your contribution to society.”

Last week The Sunday Times revealed that Sir Bill Gammell, the former Scotland rugby international and one of the country’s richest entrepreneurs, hopes to use sports stars such as Murray and Chris Hoy, the triple gold-medal-winning cyclist, in teaching programmes designed to promote a winning mentality at school.

Cunningham, the former head teacher at Hillhead High in Glasgow, said he hoped pupils would challenge Murray about his behaviour and ask him to explain himself.

“I think the answer to it is getting youngsters to question him and challenge him face to face,” he said. “If you get a kid turning round to Andy and saying, ‘See the way you behaved in that final, do you think that was appropriate?’ then Andy would have to answer to the next generation.

“It would be wonderful for him because he would get a real sense of what people think about that behaviour and would see that what he does is going to be reflected in young people’s behaviour. It would help him understand that he is a role model.”

In his autobiography, Hitting Back, Murray said swearing is a way for him to let off steam, but admitted he was trying to control his outbursts.

“I do swear sometimes towards my box,” he said. “If you’re getting mad, you’re getting pretty uncomfortable and all I’m basically doing is looking for a bit of comfort from them. I know swearing isn’t the right thing to do and I have tried to stop it, but I’m never going to be on court not saying a word. Sometimes you need to let off steam.”

Tom Lucas, a leading sports psychologist, defended Murray’s behaviour.

“He’s not perfect, but most of his outbursts are directed against himself for missing a shot or getting his tactics wrong,” he said. “He rarely has a go at the opposing player or the umpire.”

Murray’s spokesman refused to comment.

www.timesonline.co.uk


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Old 10-15-2008, 02:46 PM   #146
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Default Re: Andy, Articles and news

Andy Murray blasts through crock Simone Bolelli to reach Madrid Masters third round

Oct 15 2008 By Alix Ramsay

ANDY MURRAY was in stunning form yesterday at the Madrid Masters - but needed just 10 games to see off Simone Bolelli.

The world No.4 booked his place in the third round when his Italian opponent withdrew with a shoulder injury. In the 47 minutes the Scot was on court his play was as good as it has been all season.

With the exception of the Beijing Olympics, the 21-year-old's results have been consistently impressive: quarter finals at Wimbledon, semi-finals at the Toronto Masters, a win at the Cincinnati Masters, the final at the US Open and two Davis Cup victories.

Despite taking a three-week training break after the Davis Cup Murray does not appear to have missed a beat since his last competitive outing.

Yesterday he was straight back into the winning groove that has taken him soaring up the world rankings.

Murray said: "I've been playing really, really well in practice over the last few weeks, better than I was playing throughout the summer. I was hitting the ball much better."

Bolelli had come through the qualifying competition and so had already acclimatised to the speed of the courts and the flight of the ball.

For a couple of games he looked as if he could give Murray a run for his money but then the Scot pulled rank, broke serve and crushed his opponent.

Chasing down two smashes and turning defence into attack Murray took the lead in the second game of the match and never looked back. From that point on, Bolelli had the look of a beaten man.

It took the Italian 40 minutes to notch up a game but once he had got his name on the scoreboard, he called for the trainer and had treatment to his right shoulder. Three points later, he gave up the struggle and trudged off court trailing 0-6, 1-2.

Murray said: "I think it was a shoulder problem he stopped for but he was hitting serves over 200km all the time.

"He seemed to be hitting his serve fine. I don't know if he did it on one point in particular or not, but I don't think he had come to the court with a problem.

"I think a good start makes a big difference in matches like that where you're not really 100 per cent confident about how you're going to hit the ball and how you're going to play because you haven't played for a while. He had obviously played three matches here and was a bit more used to the courts.

"You're still expected to win but when you get off to that good start you can kind of relax and go for your shots a bit more."

At this time of year most players are struggling with niggling aches and pains and everyone is tired.

Murray, though, is relaxed and fresh after his time at home and is feeling fitter than ever.

He said: "I'm probably a little bit mentally fresher now than around the US Open time. It was a long summer although physically I felt okay.

"It's just shot selection and focus on every point can be better when you're fresh and I've been working harder on doing a lot of fitness."

Murray will face Croatian Marin Cilic next for a place in the quarter-finals.

The world No.24 also appears to be in cracking form following an impressive 6-2 6-3 win over Spaniard Fernando Verdasco yesterday.

Murray said: "Marin has played well in big matches this year. He's beaten some really good players over the past few months so it's going to be a very tough match.

"He hits the ball big and if he's playing well he's going to be a tough guy to beat."

Top seed Rafael Nadal dropped a set but reached round three with a 7-5 3-6 6-3 win over Latvian Ernest Gulbis.

www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/tennis
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Old 10-16-2008, 02:16 PM   #147
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Murray toughs it out against Cilic

Andy Murray has progressed through to the Quarter Finals of the Madrid Masters with a 7-5, 7-6 win over Croatia's Marin Cillic, where he will meet either Andy Roddick or his junior rival Gael Monfils.

The Scot made a poor start to today's third round encounter, dropping his serve early in the first set and consistently struggling with his returns, as well as his troublesome right knee. It wasn't until 5-4, with the Croat serving for the opener, that Murray truly came to life. Having built up a 40-0 lead, Cillic looked certain to close out the set. However, Murray conjured up something special to break back, hitting one running forehand pass to save set point and a trademark backhand pass to break back at the most crucial of stages. Now with the momentum, the Scot held serve and immediately broke for a second time to take the first set and add to the Croatian's woes.

With a set advantage, Murray could afford to relax and play with a little more freedom. As he later admitted to Sky Sports, he relaxed a little too much. The second set was, like the first, closely contested as the pair traded service holds. Again demonstrating the winning mentality he has so often boasted this past summer, the Scot broke serve late in the second set to open up a 5-3 advantage. Although everyone else knew that Murray had the match on his racquet, the youngster from Dunblane was inexplicably under the impression that the score was 4-2. That admission may go some way to explaining the loose game he subsequently threw in to immediately get broken back. From that point on, the set seemed destined for a tiebreak. And so it proved to be the case, as both players made no mistakes on serve thereafter. Given their respective tiebreak records, the smart money was on the Scot. He quickly raced to a 6-1 lead in the tiebreak, the Croat tossing in a multitude of errors, while Murray was content to keep good length and force his less experienced opponent to hit through him. The Scot went on to prevail 7-2 in the tiebreak and will now go on to face either Andy Roddick or Gael Monfils in the Quarter Finals.


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Old 10-17-2008, 03:52 PM   #148
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http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/t...id-964971.html

Murray into semi-finals in Madrid

From Mike Perez, PA
Friday, 17 October 2008


Andy Murray overcame a slow start to clinch a hugely-impressive victory over Gael Monfils today to progress through to the semi-finals of the Madrid Masters.

Murray needed just over an hour to beat the outclassed Frenchman 6-2 6-2 in a match that started off as an evenly-fought contest but ended up being almost completely one-sided.

The world number four will next meet either Roger Federer or Juan Martin Del Potro in the last four as he seeks his fourth title of the season.

As against third-round opponent Marin Cilic yesterday, Murray needed to do it the hard way to win the first set against the 22-year-old Monfils after being broken in the opening game of the match.

However, the fourth seed hit back immediately to level the scores up at 1-1 and then broke Monfils again in the sixth and eighth games en route to taking the first set 6-2.

It was not as easy as the scoreline suggested though, at least not early on as Monfils matched his seeded opponent blow for blow in what looked set to be a testing match for Murray.

The Frenchman broke straight away when Murray's attempted drop-shot failed to clear the net and then took his opponent to deuce in each of the Scot's next two service games.

Monfils could not take advantage of that though and as the unforced errors and frustrations started to creep into the Parisian's game with increasing regularity, Murray went from strength to strength before sealing the set in double-quick time.

The first three games of the second set comfortably went with serve but Murray again had Monfils in trouble in the fourth, and he further tightened his grip on the match by breaking his opponent following a lengthy battle.

Murray then won the next two games to take a 5-1 lead and although Monfils broke back in the seventh match, the Scot secured a comprehensive victory in the following game on Monfils' serve.

Murray is now on course for a semi-final meeting with Roger Federer.

"I am hitting the ball well this week. I like this court - and it will be a great match," he told Sky Sports Xtra.

"At the US Open, I wished I could have played better - but he was great and deserved to win."

There was never any doubt Murray was in control against Monfils, and his only qualm was over some slipshod serving early in the match.

"When you play against someone like Gael, you know you'll have some fun," said the British number one.

"We've known each other since the juniors, and I know his game pretty well.

"I served very badly at the start. But once I got a few more serves in, I only lost one more game until I lost my focus right at the end

"I started to relax and hit the ball pretty well. It was a really satisfying performance."
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Old 10-18-2008, 02:00 PM   #149
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Murray gains revenge over Federer

Andy Murray avenged his US Open final defeat by Roger Federer with a superb 3-6 6-3 7-5 victory over the Swiss in the semi-finals of the Madrid Masters.

Federer broke the British number one in the fourth game on his way to winning the opening set but the 21-year-old Scot responded well to level the match.

A tense final set went with serve until the 11th game when Murray broke Federer before completing a fantastic victory.

World number one Rafael Nadal will face Gilles Simon in the second semi-final.

Murray, who lost in straight sets to Federer at Flushing Meadows in September, had not dropped a set in his march to the last four.

Serve dominated the opening five games before the former world number one broke Murray when the Scot overhit a forehand to take a 4-2 lead.

Murray had a chance to hit back immediately when a mis-hit Federer forehand gave him a break point, but his opponent saved that before holding to establish a 5-2 advantage.

The Swiss soon wrapped up the set but Murray, chasing his fourth ATP title this year, served well to help him put Federer under pressure in the second.

The world number four broke serve in the fourth game, taking advantage of a rare Federer mistake on break point.

Murray drove home his advantage by comfortably holding serve to move 4-1 ahead.

The next three games went with serve, leaving Murray with the chance to serve for the set, which he duly did by winning three quick points before levelling the match with an unstoppable forehand.

Murray survived a scare on his serve in the eighth game of the final set and held his nerve again when 5-4 down.

Federer then found his serve under pressure and saved one break point before Murray swooped to take his chance second time around.

Murray then held his serve impressively to clinch his third win in five over Federer.
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Old 10-18-2008, 02:41 PM   #150
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Win over Federer puts Murray in the final

PA
Saturday, 18 October 2008



Andy Murray fought back from a set down to defeat world number two Roger Federer and progress through to the final of the Madrid Masters.

Murray also gained revenge for his defeat to Federer in last month's US Open final with today's 3-6 6-3 7-5 victory in the Spanish capital, and he will next face either world number one Rafael Nadal and or Gilles Simon in tomorrow's final.

World number four Murray lost 6-2 7-5 6-2 to Federer at Flushing Meadows in what was the Scot's first-ever Grand Slam final, and he had to do it the hard way today to avoid another defeat to the 27-year-old after losing the first set.

The first breakthrough of the match came in the sixth game when Murray, having already saved one break point at 30-40, overhit a forehand to leave Federer holding a 4-2 advantage.

Federer, who this week overtook Pete Sampras as the record prize winner in men's tennis history, did not let that advantage slip as Murray dropped his first set this week.

Having won two of his four career meetings with Federer previously though, the 21-year-old Murray knew that the situation was salvageable.

And so it proved as the fourth seed broke Federer in the fourth game of the second set to level the match up and keep alive his hopes of winning a fourth ATP title of the year.

In the final set the impressive Murray looked to hold the upper hand throughout and had Federer regularly in all sorts of trouble on his own serve.

However, the world number four had to wait until the 11th game of the set to finally make it count as, after failing to make the most of six break points previously in the set, it was lucky number seven to take a 5-4 lead.

Murray then held his serve to take the victory following an enthralling match of just under two hours. Murray was delighted with the way he managed to turn the match around.

He told Sky Sports: "When Roger gets ahead he plays really aggressive, he plays with a lot of confidence and he really races through his service games.

"I was lucky in the second set, I managed to go ahead early and relax a bit from there. I had to try and take my chances, which is tough against him because he plays so well on the big points.

"I served great, and that was the key. I didn't give him too many chances and that was the reason I won."

Murray is looking for his second successive Masters Series title after victory in Cincinnati in August.

He would relish another meeting with Nadal, who he lost to at the same event last season but beat for the first time in the US Open semi-finals.

"It would be great," Murray added. "I played him last year here and we had a really good match, great atmosphere again.

"He's number one player in the world, he's had a great year and I look forward to playing either of them.

"It's a Masters Series final; this is all kind of new to me, I've only been in one final before so I'll just try and enjoy it."
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