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

SNF on KPUG: Manning breaks Favre’s TD mark in 42-17

Fresh
Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) warms up prior to an NFL preseason football game against the Houston Texans, Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014, in Denver.

He surpassed Favre's mark with an 8-yard strike to Demaryius Thomas late in the second quarter. As he went to retrieve the football, his teammates decided to have some fun.

in Sports

NFL week 7 scoreboard

A football before the first half of an NFL preseason football game between the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks Friday, Aug. 23, 2013, in Green Bay, Wis.

All the scores from around the National Football League

in Sports

SEC is 1st conference to put 4 in top 5 of AP poll

football genric image

Thirty times since 2001 a conference has placed three teams in the top five of the AP Top 25. The SEC had done it 16 times since 2009.

in Sports

Keselowski keeps title hopes alive at Talladega

Checkered-flag

Brad Keselowski pulled away in overtime for one of the biggest wins of his career and earned an automatic berth into the third round of NASCAR's championship race.

in Entertainment

Former ‘American Idol’ contestant Joanne Borgella dead

joanneborgella

The singer/model passed away on Saturday, a year she was diagnosed with endometrial cancer.

Bellingham Traffic