Murray stumbles into round 3 in Miami
Originally published on: 26/02/10 11:30
Andy Murray’s sluggish early tournament form seems to have followed him from California to Key Biscayne, after the world No.4 needed to come from a set down against Argentine Juan Monaco before sealing his spot in the third round of the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami.
Murray, who had a bye into the second round, looked somewhat out of sorts in the opening exchanges before eventually finding his feet to post a 4-6 6-3 6-2 victory.
Take nothing away from Monaco, however, who deserved his opening break of serve in the third game of the first set. Playing superb tennis, the world No.59 frustrated the British No.1 and he moved a further ahead after breaking Murray to love in the fifth game.
That seemed to shake Murray into action, and he upped his performance to break back immediately. The set belonged to Monaco, however, and he held serve in the tenth to seal it.
The first game of the second set looked to be going the Argentine’s way as he went 0-40 up on Murray’s serve. However, the Scot suddenly hit form and responded to save the game before taking control of the set.
With that the momentum swung, and a more assertive Murray broke in in the fourth game. Suddenly the match began to look more like the rankings might suggest it should, and try as he might Monaco was never able to get back on terms with the 21-year-old.
The second set safely bagged, Murray broke in the opening game of the decider. Monaco hit back immediately to level the score, only for the Scot to break again in the next game. After that it proved to be a one-sided affair, with Murray booking his place in the third round.
One upset avoided then, but not every seed had it their own way. Viktor Troicki stunned No.14 seed David Nalbandian 6-1 6-3. It was a well-deserved victory for the Serbian player with Nalbandian hopelessly ineffective from the start.
World No.9 Fernando Verdasco had no such problems against German qualifier Benjamin Becker, but didn’t have it all go his way as he advanced to the third round 6-3 6-4.
The Spaniard dropped serve three times, but made up for it with five breaks from his eight break point opportunities.
“It’s really tough,” admitted Verdasco. “You make more mistakes than usual. But at least I won. It’s important also to win not playing the best tennis. I’m happy that I took that challenge and I was able to win with these tough conditions.”
Verdasco faces a tricky encounter against compatriot Feliciano Lopez in the third round after the No.32 seed saw off American Sam Querrey 6-7 7-5 6-2. The Spaniard hits 15 aces and broke Querrey three times to set up an intriguing match-up with his Davis Cup doubles partner.