Cincinnati Masters 2014: Andy Murray battles through but Novak Djokovic falls to another defeat

Scot sees off American John Isner as world No 1 is was beaten in straight sets by Spain’s Tommy Robredo

tennis correspondent

Andy Murray’s attempt to win the Cincinnati Masters for a third time is still on track but the Scot had to save two match points before beating John Isner in the third round. A match which featured only one break of serve ended with Murray completing a  6-7, 6-4, 7-6 victory over the 6ft 10in American after two hours and 22 minutes.

Murray considers Isner’s serve to be the best in the game. The world No 14, who had not been broken in his previous two matches, served at speeds of more than 140mph and struck 21 aces, but  Murray’s serve was equally effective.

The only time it let the Scot down was when he made two successive double faults as he served at 5-6 and 30-15 in the deciding set. Isner netted a volley on his subsequent match point and was outrallied when he had a second opportunity for victory later in the same game.

Murray had let the tie-break in the opening set slip from his grasp, losing six points in a row from 3-1 up, but kept his focus second time around. He won the deciding tie-break  7-2, Isner double-faulting on match point. In today’s quarter-finals Murray will play the winner of the match between Roger Federer and Gaël Monfils.

“The 6-5 game was tough,” Murray said afterwards. “The sun was in our eyes when we were throwing the ball up to serve. Ideally you want to try to get some free points on your serve, but you can’t really see the ball when you throw it up. I missed a couple of second serves – one in the tape and one just long.

“But I played well. I struck the ball cleanly from the back of the court. I dictated as many points as I could on my own serve and I managed to get a few more balls in the court than him in the tie-break - and that was the difference.”

He added: “It was a big win for me. He plays extremely well here. Returning his serve, especially his second serve in these conditions, is very challenging. I did well to fight back. I felt like I played a very good match. I served well and moved well. When I was challenged at the end of the third set I responded well. That’s important. It’s all about winning right now. I don’t really care how I play.” Murray dropped only three points in his six service games in the first set and must have wondered how he could have let it slip away from him.

However, his response at the start of the second set was exemplary. In the opening game he forced five break points, converting the last of them, and went on to serve out for the set. The only break points in the third set were the two Murray saved in the 12th game.

Murray’s chances of winning his first tournament for 13 months rose when Novak Djokovic suffered his second successive early defeat since his Wimbledon triumph. The world No 1, who needed to win the Cincinnati tournament to complete his collection of Masters Series titles, was beaten 7-6, 7-5 by Spain’s Tommy Robredo.

Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Sport
Seth Rollins cashes in his Money in the Bank contract to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
WWERollins win the WWE World Heavyweight title in one of the greatest WrestleMania's ever seen
Arts and Entertainment
Jim Davidson performs his comedy show at Edinburgh Festival 2014
TV
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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.

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor