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MURRAY IS THROUGH

Generally in those tournaments which get played on hard courts, Andy Murray is considered as a very tough man to beat because his game is just ideal for that type of surfaces, but, surprisingly, the Scot has never been able to be at his dominating best in the BNP Paribas Open in his career so far.

He always struggles there and he is doing so this year as well. Although, he has won both his matches and has got into the 4th round of the ongoing tournament, but, in both those matches, his performances were just ordinary.

The player which Murray was up against in the third round was Jiri Vesely who is placed more than 70 positions lower than him in the world rankings, but, despite that, the Scot couldn’t crush him. He was in fact in danger of being crushed himself at one point of time as after losing the first set, he had got trailed in the second set too, but, he somehow managed the situation and improved his game just in time to win the last two sets by slender margins to seal the match.

In the post match interview, Murray said, “The standard of tennis was not very high during the match. Both of us were in poor nick and made a lot of mistakes. I am glad that in the latter parts of the match, I played a bit better and won.”

Murray went through an operation not so long ago. So, he was bound to be a little clumsy coming into this season, but, not this much. It seems he just has no rhythm at all and that’s a danger sign for him with matches against the big players coming up.

In the next round, Murray will be facing either Alejandro Falla or Milos Raonic.

MURRAY WINNER

Andy Murray has defeated Stanislas Wawrinka of Switzerland in his second match in the ongoing Mubadala World Tennis Championship. Murray won the match in the straight sets by 6-3, 6-4.

With this win, the British superstar has made sure that he would finish at no. 5 in the tournament.

This is the first victory that Murray has pulled off after his back operation. He hadn’t looked anywhere close to his best in his previous match against the Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, but, against, Wawrinka, he looked fluent and won with ease.

Wawrinka is the same player who had knocked Murray out of the US Open last season. He beat him in the quarter final round and didn’t let him win that tournament for the second time in a row. The British player would have been very happy to avenge that loss.

Talking to the reporters in the post match interview, Murray said, “My purpose of coming here was to play a few matches against the top players and I am glad that I was up against two very good players in the last two games.”

When asked what he has to say regarding his fitness, Murray said, “I would say it’s pretty good at the moment, but, when you remain on the sidelines for such a long time, you need a few matches. It’s good that I got a couple of them here. It’s only going to help me.”

After that interview, Murray didn’t waste any time at all and went back to have some practice. That shows how determined he is to get back to full rhythm.

The next tournament that Murray is going to feature in is the Qatar Open which is going to start in about 15 days’ time.

BAD NEWS

If you are an Andy Murray fan, there is bad news for you. You are not going to see your favourite player play any more matches this season. The Scot is set to go through back surgery which will rule him out of action for a few months.

This back problem is not new for Murray. He has been suffering from this problem since the last one and half years. He had to withdraw his name from this year’s French Open because of the same problem.

Murray managed to regain 100% fitness after the French Open though and ended up participating in the last two Grand Slams of the year i.e. Wimbledon and US Open but, while, playing for Great Britain in the Davis Cup clash against Croatia a few days back, that problem started to trouble him again because of which he decided to meet a specialist who suggested him to opt for surgery.

Talking to the reporters yesterday, the Spokesperson of Murray said, “Andy was comfortable with his back while playing on grass courts, but, after making some appearances on clay and hard courts off late, he started to feel the pain again. He went to the specialist who told him that the surgery would solve the issue permanently. Hopefully, the operation will go smoothly and he will be back 100% fit for the new season.”

Despite having that back problem, Murray had featured in 3 matches in the Davis Cup tie against Croatia and had won all of them to help his team win the tie and make it to the World Group.

Murray had to take part in 5 more tournaments this season including the Paris Masters and the ATP World Tour finals which will be played in London in November.

MURRAY BEATS GRANOLLERS

Andy Murray has defeated Marcel Granollers of Spain in the second round of the ongoing Rogers Cup. Murray won the match in the straight sets by 6-4, 7-6(2).

Murray didn’t look at his peak in this match. He played a few glorious shots, but, the consistency wasn’t there. However, his effort was good enough to get better of Granollers.

Talking to the reporters in the post match interview, Murray said, “The conditions were a little tough. A strong breeze was blowing and the ball was flying. It took me a bit of time to adjust.”

In the opening set,  Murray was off to a good start as he broke his opponent’s serve a couple of times in a row (in the 3rd and the 5th game) to get ahead by 4-1.

However, the Scot was broken back in the 6th game and then, Granollers held his serve in the 7th game to make the score 4-3.

The next couple of games went with the serve and at the end of the 9th game; Murray was leading by 5-4.

The Spaniard required a serve break in the next game to prevent the set from getting over, but, he couldn’t do that. Murray served the 10th game out and got up by a set.

In the second set, there were no breakthroughs in the first 3 games and Granollers was ahead by 2-1 when the 3rd game got over.

In the 4th game, Granollers sneaked a breakthrough and then, won his next service game to extend his lead to 4-1.

The next 3 games went with the serve and when the 8th game finished, Granollers was ahead by 5-3.

Murray managed to break his opponent back in the 9th game and then, a serve hold for him in the next game levelled the proceedings.

Both the players held their serve in the next 2 games which took the set into the tie breaker.

In the tie breaker, Murray looked very aggressive. He outclassed Granollers with some great shots and finished it off in no time.

This was Murray’s 13th win in a row. He will take on Ernests Gulbis of Latvia in the next round.

HENMAN BACKS MURRAY

The former British tennis star, Tim Henman, has said that Andy Murray has a great chance of clinching his first ever Wimbledon title this year.

Murray has been out of tennis since the last few weeks. He withdrew his name from the ongoing French Open because of his back injury.

However, the world no. 2 has recovered from that injury now and has started training.  He is expected to make his comeback by playing in the upcoming AEGON Championships.

When asked about Murray’s chances in the Wimbledon Championships, Henman said, “I think he has a great chance this year. He had shown exceptional temperament last year, but, he had to face one of the all time greats in the final and he couldn’t get better of him. But, he has matured a lot after that defeat and this year, I would back him to go all the way.”

When asked if playing in front of the home crowd puts extra pressure on the player, Henman said, “Yes, it does. But, Murray is someone who is mentally very tough. So, he can soak up that pressure and he had shown that last year by making it to the title round.”

When asked about Murray’s decision of withdrawing from the French Open, Henman said, “I think it was the right decision. If he was not feeling 100% fit, there was no point going into the tournament. It was a much better option to rest and be fully prepared for the Wimbledon championships.”

When asked about the poor performance of the other British players in the Grand Slams, Henman said, “Honestly speaking, I am surprised by that. There are outstanding facilities available in UK for the young players and yet, only a few of them are progressing well. It’s disappointing to see.”

In the French Open, three British female tennis players were participating in the singles competition namely Laura Robson, Heather Watson and Elena Baltacha. All of them got knocked out from the opening round.

MURRAY MAKES IT THROUGH

Andy Murray has defeated Edouard Roger-Vasselin of France in the second round of the Monte Carlo Masters. Murray won the match in the straight sets by 6-1, 6-4. The match was done and dusted in just 72 minutes.

Murray had been practicing hard here at Monte Carlo since the last few days. The Scot reckons that he doesn’t play that well on clay courts, but, his performance in this match doesn’t suggest that. He hardly played a loose shot against Vasselin.

Murray has been given the second seed in this tournament. He had become the no. 2 player in the world by winning the Sony Open a few weeks ago. But, if he gets knocked out of Monte Carlo Masters before the quarter finals, he will again slip behind Roger Federer in the world rankings.

After winning the match against Vasselin, Murray said, “I managed to take a lead of 4-0 in the first set and that helped. Edouard was nervous initially and was not moving across quickly, but, in the second set, he began playing well.”

“He was playing the return shots well in the second set. I just tried to stay positive and that worked. It’s really a fine beginning.”

In the opening set, Murray got breakthroughs in the 2nd and the 4th game and got ahead by 4-0. But, Vasselin broke back in the 5th game to make the score 4-1.

The Frenchman couldn’t win any more game in the set. In the 6th game, he dropped his serve again and then, Murray served out the 7th game to win the set.

In the second set, Murray got a breakthrough in the 3rd game to take a lead of 2-1.  He won his remaining service games after that and sealed the match.