Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic advance at Indian Wells
British number one into fourth round of BNP Paribas Open
Wednesday 13 March 2013
British number one Andy Murray advanced to round four of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells with a hard-fought 6-3 6-2 win over Lu Yen-Hsun of Chinese Taipei.
Lu, who beat Murray at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, raced out of the blocks with a series of big shots, creating a number of break-point opportunities.
But Murray resisted, saving all five break points he faced and breaking twice in each set to seal victory - and a meeting with Argentina's Carlos Berlocq - in an hour and 28 minutes.
"It was a very good second set," Murray told Sky Sports 3. "In the first set he had a lot of chances on my serve. I thought my footwork in the first set wasn't great. Once I started to loosen up and relax a little bit, my footwork improved."
Lu started well, creating three break-point chances early on, but Murray held on and struck a killer blow in game five as he broke at the first opportunity.
At 0-30 in the next Lu service game, Murray looked set to make it a double break, but Lu won four points in a row, sealing the hold with a running forehand down the line.
That lifted Lu, who created two break points in the next game, but Murray found the line with a couple of difficult forehands, sealed the game with a pair of aces and took the set when Lu double faulted on break point.
The second set was keenly contested until game six when Murray raced into a 0-40 lead and Lu meekly surrendered the break by dumping a forehand halfway up the net.
That put Murray 4-2 up and another break in Lu's next service game was enough to seal a hard-fought if ultimately comfortable win.
Murray was impressed with Lu, saying: "He's caused a few upsets over the last couple of years. He takes the ball extremely early, hits the ball very flat and really goes for it.
"If he's striking the ball cleanly like he was at the start he can hit a lot of winners.
"He made it tough."
Murray is playing in Indian Wells without coach Ivan Lendl at courtside.
"He said he didn't enjoy the conditions when he played here," Murray said. "He said, 'I never played well here'. I think he played here three times and made the final twice. I hope one day my standards can be that high."
Next up for Murray is a fourth-round clash with Berlocq, who overcame 16th seed Kei Nishikori of Japan 6-2 6-2. The pair have never previously faced each other.
Grigor Dimitrov was left to rue a missed opportunity as he let a 5-2 first-set lead slip on his way to a 7-6 (7/4) 6-1 loss to world number one Novak Djokovic.
The Bulgarian fell apart in game nine, throwing in four double faults to hand Djokovic the break he needed, then could not get his game back on track in the second set.
Djokovic, still unbeaten in 2013, told http://www.atptour.com: "I just tried to stay positive and calm and hang in there and wait for the chances. So that's, I guess, the biggest positive I can take out of today's performance."
Djokovic will next face American Sam Querrey, who came through a gruelling three-set encounter with unseeded Australian Marinko Matosevic.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga booked his place in the fourth round with a straight-sets victory over number 32 seed Mardy Fish and will face Milos Raonic, who beat Marin Cilic 3-6 6-4 6-3, while Juan Martin Del Potro and Tommy Haas both won to set up a fourth-round meeting.
In the women's draw, Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova advanced to the quarter-finals in straight sets but third seed Agnieszka Radwanska bowed out as she was beaten by Maria Kirilenko.
Second seed Maria Sharapova eased to a two-set victory over Lara Arruabarrena-Veci 7-5 6-0.
The Russian struggled with her serve in the opening set, registering six double faults, before dominating the second to win in an hour and 18 minutes to set up a tie with Sarah Errani, who was a 6-3 6-2 winner over Marion Bartoli.
The Italian sixth seed needed almost an hour and a half to beat her French opponent, with her ability to win points on her first serve key to her progression.
Top seed Azarenka was similarly dominant in a 6-3 6-1 win over Urszula Radwanska.
And Radwanska's sister Agnieszka also made an early exit as she was beaten 6-1 4-6 7-5 by 13th seed Kirilenko.
Kirilenko will next face Petra Kvitova, a 6-2 6-3 winner against fellow Czech Klara Zakopalova.
There were also wins for Angelique Kerber, Samantha Stosur and Caroline Wozniacki.
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