Murray and Federer stay on course for quarter-final clash
Originally published on 18/01/14
The world No.4, who returned to action this month after recovering from back surgery, started slowly but soon found his rhythm as he took his unbeaten record against the Spaniard to eight matches with a 7-6(2) 6-4 6-2 victory.
Lopez managed to save set point at 6-5 to force a first-set tie-break, but Murray produced a string of winners to seal the opening set. An early break put him in control of the second set and by the start of the third Murray was dominating play from the baseline as he cruised to victory.
Murray will fancy his chances against his next opponent, lucky loser Stephane Robert, who lost in qualifying but snuck into the main draw when another player withdrew. Robert was a 6-0 7-6(2) 6-4 winner against Martin Klizan.
Should Murray make it through his next test unscathed, a likely quarter-final against four-time champion Roger Federer awaits. Like Murray, Federer is yet to drop a set in Melbourne after he eased past Russian Teymuraz Gabashvili 6-2 6-2 6-3.
Top seed Rafael Nadal was equally untroubled as he secured a 6-1 6-2 6-3 victory against Gael Monfils to set up a fourth-round clash with Kei Nishikori, a 7-5 6-1 6-0 victor against American Donald Young.
Grigor Dimitrov won a four-set thriller to upset No.11 Milos Raonic to reach the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time. The Bulgarian saved two set points before converting his fifth match point in a thrilling fourth-set tie-break to seal a 6-3 3-6 6-4 7-6(10) victory. Dimitrov will meet Juan Martin Del Potro’s conqueror Roberto Bautista Agut in the last 16 after the Spaniard’s run continued with a 6-2 6-1 6-4 win over Benoit Paire.