Murray cruises to quarters
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:08
The Scot was nowhere near at his best but made it 14 victories in a row by coming through 6-3 7-6 (8/6), and he still has not lost since his US Open final defeat to Roger Federer in early September.
One break of serve was enough to claim the first set before Murray held his nerve in a tie-break to claim his second victory over Verdasco in a week.
The first came last Saturday in the semi-finals in St Petersburg, an event Murray won to maintain his superb run of results.
There were few fireworks in a match played in the less-than-glamourous surroundings of Court One.
Neither player had a sniff on his opponent’s serve in the opening seven games but in the eighth, Murray earned his first break point and subsequently put it away when Verdasco sent a weak backhand into the net under no pressure to slip 5-3 down.
Errors began creeping into the Spaniard’s play, especially on his weaker backhand side, and in the next game another wayward shot on that wing gifted Murray the opening set at the first time of asking, with half an hour gone.
There had been very few memorable rallies and it was more of the same in a low-key second set. With not a single break point in sight, the set went to a tie-break.
Verdasco grabbed an early mini-break and then squandered a set point by sending a very makeable smash into the net. The 15th seed saved a match point with a forehand winner down the line but then double-faulted, giving Murray another chance to wrap the match up, which he did when Verdasco powered a forehand into the net.
Nalbandian, the eighth seed, will be a much bigger test for Murray. The Argentinian reached the final in Basle last week and has already beaten his in-form compatriot Juan Martin del Potro in Paris.