Photo: Eisele/Giubilo/ZimmerAndy Murray (GBR)
LONDON, GREAT BRITAIN: Andy Murray demonstrated his medal credentials at the Olympic Tennis Event on Wednesday by coming from a set down to defeat Marcos Baghdatis 46 61 64, setting up a quarterfinal showdown with Nicolas Almagro.
Murray got off to a slow start against Baghdatis as the Cypriot broke in the opening game of the match. However, the British No. 1 quickly regrouped to level at 2-2, only for Baghdatis to forge ahead once again with a second break of serve in the seventh game.
This time there was no way back for Murray. He saved two set points on his own serve at 3-5, but in the next game Baghdatis clinched the first set 6-4 in 46 minutes.
From then on, Murray lifted his game and took control of the match. Two breaks of serve helped him take the second set 6-1 in 31 minutes, and a further break in the opening game of the third set put him in the driving seat.
Baghdatis doesn’t know when he’s beaten, though, and dug deep to force Murray to keep holding serve all the way to the end. The No. 3 seed eventually served out to win the final set 6-4 in 41 minutes, with the overall match clock reading 1 hour 58 minutes.
“At the start of the match it was very windy and it pretty much continued that way,” said Murray. “After playing two matches indoors, where there's none of that to worry about, it did take me (time to get used to the conditions). I was pretty unsure of myself at the beginning of the match, didn't feel comfortable on the court.
“Then, yeah, managed to settle myself down and move my feet better to get in better position in the second set. Played some good tennis after that, but it was very, very different conditions to the first two rounds.”
Murray now faces Nicolas Almagro in the quarterfinals. The Spaniard, who is yet to drop a set in the tournament, advanced by defeating Steve Darcis 75 63. The two players have met three times and Murray leads the series 2-1.
“The reason why his ranking has gone into the Top 10 is because he's been playing better on the other surfaces this year,” said Murray, looking ahead to his clash with Almagro.
“Yeah, he's a tough player. He takes a lot of risk on the court. He goes for his shots, doesn't hold back. He doesn't have loads of variation, but he can overpower you. He has a big serve, as well. That's why he's been in the Top 10 for the best part of this year.
“After this week, he won't be far off still being in it. It's going to be a tough match. I'll need to play well to win. If I serve like I did the last couple sets, that will help me out a lot.”
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