Andy Murray has had his parents, brother, girlfriend and even his dogs with him at the Miami Masters, so it is no wonder that he is feeling at home this week.
Murray, who stays in his own property not far from the courts at Crandon Park, reached the quarter-finals last night by beating Andreas Seppi 6-2, 6-4 to maintain his record of not dropping a set at this year’s tournament. He next faces the winner of yesterday’s later match between Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Marin Cilic.
Murray had won his four previous meetings with Seppi and took charge from the start. The 29-year-old Italian did not hit a single winner in the first set, in which he had to defend nine break points, two of which Murray converted. The Scot, adapting to the breezy conditions much better than his opponent, dropped just four points on his own serve as he took the opener with plenty to spare.
Seppi had to save three more break points at the start of the second set, but from that moment on he picked up his level. The world No 19 went 30-0 up when Murray served at 3-4, but failed to drive home his advantage and paid the penalty in the following game when two successive unforced errors gave Murray his last break of the match.
A double fault when Murray served for the match at 5-4 gave Seppi his first break point, but the Scot saved it and went on to convert his first match point when the Italian hit a backhand long.
“I started the match well,” Murray said afterwards. “It was very windy on the court. It was swirling a little bit at the start and he made more unforced errors than he usually does. I was able to track down a lot of his balls because he wasn’t timing his shots that well. But he started going for his shots more in the second set and made it tough for me.”
In Murray’s absence, James Ward and Jamie Baker will spearhead Britain’s attempt to earn a place in a Davis Cup World Group play-off next week.
Murray made himself unavailable for the Europe/Africa Zone Group One tie against Russia at Coventry’s Ricoh Arena, starting next Friday. Colin Fleming and Jonny Marray have been named as Britain’s doubles team. Russia’s squad comprises Dmitry Tursunov, Evgeny Donskoy, Igor Kunitsyn and Victor Baluda.