Australian Open 2014: Andy Murray into Australian Open fourth round with straight-sets win over Feliciano Lopez

 

Andy Murray is through to the fourth round of the Australian Open after brushing aside opponent Feliciano Lopez without dropping a set.

Despite worries about Murray’s fitness after surgery on his back, the victory completed a perfect 8-0 run of wins over the 26th seed.

It was Murray’s first real test in the competition and he passed with flying colours in Melbourne, playing a superb tie-break at the end of a tight first set and then pulling away to win 7-6 (7/2) 6-4 6-2.

The reigning Wimbledon champion will be a hot favourite to reach the quarter-finals, faced with 119th-ranked “lucky loser” Stephane Robert in the next round.

Speaking after the match, he said: “It's been a good start. It was very tricky conditions the first couple of matches with the heat but today was beautiful conditions to play in.

"We get to play in front of full crowd when it's like this so it was a great atmosphere. I don't know why but every time I've come here since I was 18 I've had great support."

 

Despite his great record against Lopez, Murray had needed almost four hours to see off the Spaniard in their last meeting at the US Open in 2012.

And this time it was not an auspicious start for the fourth seed, who lost four straight points to drop serve in the opening game, but he retrieved the break straight away.

The 40C temperatures had disappeared, much to the relief of most players, but blustery, cool weather was not what necessarily what Murray wanted as he gets his body used to playing five-set matches again.

The Scot had several chances to move a break ahead in the sixth game but Lopez came up with good serves every time.

Murray looked frustrated as Lopez levelled at 5-5, and his mood was not helped when more big serving helped the 32-year-old Spaniard save two set points and force a tie-break.

Big serving helped the 32-year-old Spaniard save two set points and force a tie-break Big serving helped the 32-year-old Spaniard save two set points and force a tie-break in the first set  

But Lopez was hanging on and he was outplayed in the tie-break, Murray stringing together a succession of good, aggressive points.

He brought up four more set points with a forehand winner and clinched it with another forehand that Lopez could not get back.

Murray has an excellent record against left-handers, which he attributes largely to having grown up playing against his brother Jamie.

Aside from Rafael Nadal, who has beaten him 13 times in 18 meetings, Murray has now only failed to win three times against left-handers in 50 matches.

He made the perfect start to the second set with an immediate break of the Lopez serve, the Spaniard seeming to suffer a hangover from losing the opener.

Both men held serve relatively comfortably for the rest of the set, which suited Murray just fine as he took it on his first chance, a HawkEye challenge failing to save Lopez.

Murray had won the first two sets against the Spaniard in New York as well, only to find himself embroiled in a near four-hour battle, but the chances of that happening again were remote, even more so when Lopez dumped the ball into the net to drop his serve again at the start of the third set.

The 32-year-old appeared to have resigned himself to his fate and Murray, who was playing an extremely solid match, broke again to lead 4-1.

That quickly became 5-1 and the Scot clinched victory on his first match point, celebrating with an understated fist pump.

 

PROMOTED VIDEO
Sport
ESPN footage showed a split-screen Murray’s partner Kim Sears and Berdych’s partner Ester Satorova 'sporting' their jewellery
tennis
Arts and Entertainment
Cold case: Aaron McCusker and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvReview: Sky Atlantic's ambitious new series Fortitude has begun with a feature-length special
Voices
Three people wearing masks depicting Ed Miliband, David Cameron and Nick Clegg
voicesPolitics is in the gutter – but there is an alternative, says Nigel Farage
Voices
The veterans Mark Hayward, Hugh Thompson and Sean Staines (back) with Grayson Perry (front left) and Evgeny Lebedev
charity appealMaverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
News
i100
News
people
Sport
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho
footballThe more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Life and Style
Vote green: Benoit Berenger at The Duke of Cambridge in London's Islington
food + drinkBanishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turn over a new leaf
News
Joel Grey (left) poses next to a poster featuring his character in the film
peopleActor Joel Grey comes out at 82
News
i100
News
business
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee