Andy Murray beats Feliciano Lopez to progress in Valencia
Tuesday 02 November 2010
Andy Murray recorded an impressive straight-sets win over Feliciano Lopez in the first round of the Valencia Open 500.
The world number 31, playing on home territory, represented a tough first-round draw for the British number one and defending champion, but he eased through the first set after breaking in Lopez's second service game.
He had to come from a break down and later save two set points in the second, but romped through a tie-break to win 6-3 7-6 (7/1).
Murray's first two service games followed the same pattern as the Scot raced to 40-0 but needed all three opportunities to serve out the game.
Lopez responded with a love game in between times. Indeed, it took Murray seven attempts to win a point on the Spaniard's serve - but he added the next three to break and lead 3-1.
He extended that advantage with a love hold featuring his first two aces and was similarly untroubled in his next service game to lead 5-2.
Lopez held and forced him to serve out - which he did to wrap up a half-hour set 6-3 with five aces.
A Lopez double-fault set Murray on his way to a 0-30 lead in game three of the second set but Lopez responded with four straight points, sealing the game with an ace.
Murray was broken in the next game as Lopez lifted the spirits of the home crowd by taking a 3-1 lead and, though he was pushed to the first deuce of the match in the next game, battled through on second serve to take the game.
Murray held and again raced to 0-30 on the Lopez serve, forcing his first two break points of the set as the match ticked past the hour mark and taking the first to put it back on serve. He then held to level at 4-4.
The top seed saved two set points when serving at 5-4 down and levelled once more. Lopez then held to love to leave him serving to stay in the set once more, which he did to force a tie-break.
Murray quickly established an advantage by winning two points on his opponent's serve and added both on his own to set up five match points.
He needed only one as he took advantage of a Lopez second serve to complete victory in an hour and 26 minutes.
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