Murray ready to dig deep
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:32
Murray’s half of the draw at Roland Garros has really opened up following the unexpected exit of top seed and title favourite Rafael Nadal on Sunday.
But ahead of the meeting with his Chilean opponent, Murray warned: “It will be very tough. He loves playing on clay. And he’s won all of his matches very easily so far.”
With fourth seed Novak Djokovic knocked out and Roger Federer stuttering through the early rounds, Murray will know he may not have a better chance to win the clay major.
In beating Marin Cilic on Sunday, the Scot became only the third British man in the Open era, after Roger Taylor and Tim Henman, to make the quarter-finals here.
Henman reached the last four in 2004 and to equal that achievement, Murray will have to overcome practice partner Gonzalez, who has arguably the biggest forehand in the game.
“I’ll have to play a very consistent match and keep the ball deep,” said the 22-year-old. “You don’t want to leave the ball in the middle of the court against him. He’s got a huge forehand.”
Murray, the third seed, last played Gonzalez in 2006 when he recovered from going two sets to one down to win a tight US Open third-round match. Gonzalez won their only other meeting, in Basle a year earlier.
Eight of Gonzalez’s 11 career titles have come on clay, the most recent coming this year in Vina del Mar. The Chilean won the boys’ singles at the French Open in 1998 too, so he has pedigree on the terre battue.
Gonzalez has yet to drop a set this tournament.