News

Andy Murray grinds into U.S. Open quarters

Andy Murray grinds into U.S. Open quarters

Andy Murray, of Britain, reacts after winning the third set against Denis Istomin, of Uzbekistan, during the fourth round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013, in New York. Photo: Associated Press/Charles Krupa

By Simon Evans

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Defending champion Andy Murray ground his way past Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin with a 6-7(5) 6-1 6-4 6-4 victory on Tuesday to reach the quarter-finals of the U.S. Open where he will face Switzerland’s Stanislas Wawrinka.

Murray’s consistency in the top tournaments is such that he has now reached the quarter-finals in each of his last 10 grand slam tournaments.

But Istomin, ranked 65th in the world, pushed Murray hard and the Wimbledon champion was glad to have made it through without a major scare.

“I was just very happy to get it done because he had chances at the end of the third set to get ahead,” Murray told reporters.

“But I’m in the quarter-finals of a slam. That is not an easy thing to do and the matches are going to get tougher. I’ll have to up my game,” he said.

The Briton struggled to get out of the blocks in the first set and trailed 5-3 after two forehand errors handed Istomin the break in surprisingly cool and slightly gusty conditions.

Although Murray immediately broke back, he lost out in the tiebreak, with a double fault and a slice into the net allowing Istomin to serve out the set.

Istomin, decked out in luminous orange with similarly garish yellow-rimmed glasses, proved to be a determined opponent.

After leveling the match, Murray displayed some clear signs of frustration in the third set but finally took control by breaking Istomin in a marathon seventh game after the enterprising Uzbek had saved three break points.

TRICKY

There was never any doubt about who would win from then and the Scot wrapped up the match in a little over three hours.

Murray said the weather and wind in Arthur Ashe Stadium had been a factor in his slow start to the night match.

“It was extremely cold on the court, very windy. Often when you sort of heat up and then in between sets or if you have quite a long break, you cool down pretty quickly,” he said.

“It was very, very different conditions to the last few days where it’s been very humid and you have been sweating a lot,” he said.

Istomin’s decision to play the ball between his legs on three occasions, once when he had a perfectly playable shot, may have pleased the crowd but raised some eyebrows and surprised his opponent.

“I think it was 5-4 in the first set when he had a pretty easy shot. I personally wouldn’t try something like that at that stage, but he did, and yeah, it was a bit surprising,” he said.

Wawrinka, who beat Tomas Berdych on Tuesday, is up next for Murray and he knows he is in for a test.

“He has improved quite a lot this year, he has less weaknesses and is more experienced.

“He has a very good backhand, serves well, he’s solid at the net and makes a lot of returns. He makes it tricky for you.

“He is a top player and it will be a very tough match for me,” he said.

Recent Headlines

in Sports

Top-seeded Wisconsin hangs on to beat North Carolina

Fresh
Wisconsin forward Sam Dekker, left, laughs as forward Frank Kaminsky answers a question during a news conference Wednesday, March 25, 2015, in Los Angeles. Wisconsin is scheduled to play North Carolina on Thursday in an NCAA men's college basketball tournament regional semifinal.

Top-seeded Wisconsin rallied in the final 10 minutes to hold off North Carolina 79-72 Thursday night and advance to the final eight of the NCAA Tournament.

in Sports

Notre Dame advances to Elite 8 with win over Wichita State

A basketball with the NCAA logo goes in on a shot by Northeastern during practice at the NCAA college basketball tournament in Pittsburgh, Wednesday, March 18, 2015. Northeastern plays Notre Dame in a second round game on Thursday.

Demetrius Jackson scored 20 points and the third-seeded Irish dominated Wichita State 81-70 in the Midwest regional semifinals on Thursday night to advance to the Elite Eight for the first time in 36 years.

in Sports

NCAA concerned with Indiana religious objections bill

NCAA President Mark Emmert answers a question at a news conference Sunday, April 6, 2014, in Arlington, Texas.

NCAA President Mark Emmert says the association is concerned about an Indiana law that could allow businesses to discriminate against gay people.

in Entertainment

‘Downton Abbey’ to end after season six

This photo released by PBS and Carnival Film and Television Limited shows, from left, Lesley Nicol as Mrs. Patmore, and Sophie McShera as Daisy, in a scene from season four of the Masterpiece TV series, "Downton Abbey." As it returns for its much-awaited fourth season, it remains a series about elegance, tradition and gentility, and the pressures of preserving them. The show premieres Sunday, January 5, 2014 at 9 pm ET on PBS.

Producers confirm that the next season of "Downton Abbey" will be the last.

in Sports

Fiancee of Aaron Hernandez to be called to testify Friday

Shayanna Jenkins, fiancee of former New England Patriots football player Aaron Hernandez, watches during the Hernandez's murder trial, Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015, in Fall River, Mass. Hernandez is charged with killing semiprofessional football player Odin Lloyd, 27, in June 2013.

The fiancee of former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez will be called to testify in his murder trial Friday, two people with knowledge of the matter told The Associated Press.

Bellingham Traffic