Tennis: Andy Murray hoping for swifter encounter against Marcos Baghdatis than Wimbledon epic

 

Andy Murray will hope to avoid the drama that made last month's late-night victory over Marcos Baghdatis a Wimbledon classic when they meet again at the Olympics today.

The world number four finally overcame Baghdatis under the Centre Court roof at 11.02pm in their third-round match, the latest finish in Wimbledon history and two minutes past the curfew.

They face each other at the same stage of the Olympic tournament, although with the draw only half the size, this time it is for a place in the quarter-finals.

Murray said: "I had a tough match with him at Wimbledon a few weeks ago. I certainly won't be taking anything for granted there. It's going to be very, very tough. He's a very, very good grass-court player. I'll need to play very well to win that."

Murray comfortably saw off Jarkko Nieminen 6-2 6-4 yesterday to reach the last 16, but it was the end of the road for Laura Robson and Heather Watson, who were both beaten in the second round of the women's singles.

Watson found Wimbledon quarter-finalist and 14th seed Maria Kirilenko too solid in a 6-3 6-2 defeat while Robson took the fight to third seed Maria Sharapova before going down 7-6 (7/5) 6-3.

It was the same scoreline as when the pair met in the second round of Wimbledon last year, but Sharapova was impressed by the progress the 18-year-old has made.

The Russian said: "I think she's certainly improved from the last time I played her. I also practised with her before this event. I'm sure she has a bright future ahead of her."

Robson will be back in action today in the first round of the mixed doubles alongside Murray, with the pair given a wild card into the 16-pair event.

Murray will play his singles match third on Centre Court this afternoon before moving to Court 18 where he and Robson will face Czech pair Radek Stepanek and Lucie Hradecka.

The singles remains Britain's best chance of a medal, with Murray determined to make amends after missing out in Beijing four years ago, and he believes the intense spotlight on the hosts' athletes could be the reason for some below-par performances so far.

He said: "It can be tough if you're not used to it. Because of Wimbledon, I've had a decent amount of experience dealing with it, but it's not easy, and for a lot of athletes this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

"As long as everyone keeps working hard and doing their best, that's all we can do. There's a long way to go still and I'm sure we are going to do well."

History was made yesterday as Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeated Milos Raonic 6-3 3-6 25-23 in the longest three-set match in Olympic history, while there were also wins for Novak Djokovic, Victoria Azarenka and Venus Williams.

PA

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