Murray freezes out Kamke and offers promise of more to come
Briton races to straightforward win on chilly Court One and faces Ljubicic in next round
Thursday 23 June 2011
The stage may have been different, but the denouement was the same. Andy Murray made a rare visit to Court One here yesterday but despite the unfamiliar surroundings the 24-year-old Scot eased into the third round with a decisive 6-3, 6-3, 7-5 victory over Tobias Kamke.
In his six visits to the All England Club Murray has always made the last 32 or better. The world No 4 rarely looked in danger of having that record upset by Kamke, a 25-year-old German who has struggled to build on what was a breakthrough season last year. Murray now faces the Croatian veteran, Ivan Ljubicic, who beat Ukraine's Sergiy Stakhovsky in straight sets.
Although Murray has yet to realise his dream of winning a Grand Slam title – he has reached three finals but lost in straight sets each time – there are few players who can match his consistency on the biggest stages. In his 23 appearances in Grand Slam tournaments Murray has failed to reach the third round only four times, the last time being at the 2008 Australian Open, when he was surprised by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
The last Briton left in the men's singles, Murray can take some encouragement from his latest performance, though he thinks he will need to improve to have any chance of becoming the first home player to win Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936. Although he held serve throughout, Murray felt he should have made better inroads into his opponent's service games.
Until 12 months ago, when he reached the semi-finals here for the second year in succession, Murray had gone one round further with every visit to the All England Club. As a result of his excellence the Scot had grown accustomed to playing most of his matches on Centre Court, but for the second year in succession he was required to play a first-week match on Court One. After rain had delayed the start of play by more than two and a half hours he would have been pleased to see Tomas Berdych dispatch Julien Benneteau in double-quick time in the opening match.
The courts here are always particularly green in the first week and on the very first point Kamke slipped on the lush turf while chasing a ball out wide. The conditions, chilly and with a blustery wind, were very different from Murray's first match on Monday night in the warmth and still air under the Centre Court roof.
Kamke was making only his seventh appearance at a Grand Slam tournament and Murray was the highest-ranked opponent he had faced. His mentor is Michael Stich, the 1991 Wimbledon champion, but on this evidence there is no comparison between the two men. Although he has a solid all-round game and hits his ground strokes cleanly, he lacks the weapons to trouble the very best.
The world No 83 picked up an award in November as the ATP tour's "Newcomer of the Year" after climbing 187 places in the world rankings in 2010. He was at a career-high No 64 earlier this year, though he has since slipped to No 83. He has lost in the first round of seven of his 12 tournaments since the turn of the year and has yet to win two matches in a row during the current campaign.
Kamke appeared nervous in his first appearance on one of the main show courts at the All England Club and dropped serve immediately with two double faults. Murray, in contrast, was immediately into his stride, capitalising on his break with a confident hold and getting out of momentary trouble at 0-30 in the fourth game with some weighty serves. The Scot broke again at 5-3 to take the first set after just 31 minutes.
At 3-3 in the second set Kamke had his only break point of the match courtesy of a double fault. Murray saved it with a service winner and then made the only break of the set to lead 5-3, upon which he served out to take a two-set lead with just an hour and 10 minutes on the clock.
The deciding set went with serve until 5-5. Kamke had been playing with greater assurance until he went 0-40 down when he hit a forehand long. The German saved the first break point when Murray dived in vain to hit a volley, but on the second he hit a double fault. Murray converted his first match point in the next game with a service winner.
"I didn't think I played that well, but I didn't get broken," Murray said. "I served well, especially when I was behind in games. It was quite windy on the court, which made it tricky, and I thought he hit the ball very well from the back of the court. I could have returned a little bit better. It was straight sets, so I've got to be pleased with that, but I've got to improve for the next match."
The Scot had not been bothered by playing on Court One. "I think all of the players would rather be on Centre because of the roof, because you know you're going to get on, but the court's still the same," he said. "It's a little bit different in terms of how it looks, because with the roof Centre Court now feels very enclosed, whereas Court One seems quite open, like Centre Court used to be. But I don't mind playing on any court – Centre, Court One, Court Six, I don't care. I just want to try and win."
Murray said he watched a horror film, Scream, the night before the match. "You normally pick the one thing that will stop you thinking about tennis," he said. "Scream did a pretty good job of that." What might he watch before facing Ljubicic? "I did hear yesterday at the end of Scream they have Scream II on tonight and Scream III on Thursday. Maybe I'll watch one of them."
Route to the final
Third round Ivan Ljubicic (Croatia, aged 32, world No 33)
Beat Sergiy Stakhovsky in straight sets last night. In 11 previous appearances at Wimbledon the former world No 3 has never gone beyond third round.
Fourth round Richard Gasquet (France, aged 25, world No 13)
Playing his best tennis for three years and beat Igor Kunitsyn in straight sets yesterday. Now faces Italy's Simone Bolelli, who surprised Stanislas Wawrinka.
Quarter-finals Andy Roddick (US, aged 28, world No 10)
Three-times Wimbledon finalist beat Romania's Victor Hanescu in straight sets on Centre Court last night. Outclassed by Murray at Queen's last week.
Semi-finals Rafael Nadal (Spain, aged 25, world No 1)
Made winning debut under Centre Court roof with 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 win over Ryan Sweeting yesterday. Has beaten Murray twice at Wimbledon without losing a set.
Final Roger Federer (Switzerland, aged 29, world No 3)
Faces France's Adrian Mannarino in second round today. Seedings say Djokovic should win semi-final against Federer but the Swiss has won title six times.
Pick of today's games
Centre Court (play starts at 1pm)
Robin Soderling (Sweden) 5 v Lleyton Hewitt (Australia); Li Na (China) 3 v Sabine Lisicki (Germany); Adrian Mannarino (France) v Roger Federer (Switzerland) 3.
Court One (1pm)
Kevin Anderson (South Africa) v Novak Djokovic (Serbia) 2; Grigor Dimitrov (Bulgaria) v Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (France) 12; Laura Robson (Britain) v Maria Sharapova (Russia) 5.
Court Two (12pm)
Simona Halep (Romania) v Serena Williams (US) 7; David Ferrer (Spain) 7 v Ryan Harrison (US); Caroline Wozniacki (Denmark) 1 v Virginie Razzano (France); Elena Baltacha (Britain) v Peng Shuai (China) 20.
Court Three (12pm)
Francesca Schiavone (Italy) 6 v Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (Czech Republic); Marcos Baghdatis (Cyprus) 32 v Andreas Seppi (Italy); Igor Andreev (Russia) v Bernard Tomic (Australia) Marion Bartoli (France) 9 v Lourdes Dominguez Lino (Spain).
Andy Murray (world ranking: 4)
Second round: Beat Tobias Kamke (Ger), (ranked 83) 6-3, 6-3, 7-5. Plays Ivan Ljubicic (Croatia) tomorrow
James Ward (ranking: 192)
First round: Lost to Michaël Llodra (Fr), (ranked 35) 6-3, 7-6, 6-3
Daniel Cox (ranking: 273)
First round: Lost to Sergiy Stakhovsky (Ukr), (ranked 46) 6-2, 6-4, 6-4
Daniel Evans (ranking: 301)
First round: Lost to Florian Mayer (Ger), (ranked 18) 7-6, 7-6, 3-6, 6-4
Elena Baltacha (ranking: 68)
First round: Beat Mona Barthel (Ger), (ranked 114) 6-2, 6-4. Plays Shuai Peng (20) today
Heather Watson (ranking: 106)
First round: Lost to Mathilde Johansson (Fr), (ranked 70) 6-2, 4-6, 4-6
Anne Keothavong (ranking: 111)
First round: Beat Naomi Broady (GB), (ranked 213) 6-2, 6-4
Naomi Broady (ranking: 213)
First round: Lost to Anne Keothavong (GB), (ranked 111) 6-2, 6-4
Katie O'Brien (ranking: 215)
First round: Lost to Kimiko Date Krumm (Japan), (ranked 57) 6-0, 7-5
Emily Webley-Smith (ranking: 244)
First round: Lost to Klara Zakopalova (Cz Rep), (ranked 35) 6-3, 5-7, 8-6
Laura Robson (ranking: 254)
First round: Beat Angelique Kerber (Ger), (ranked 77) 4-6, 6-7, 6-3. Plays Maria Sharapova (5) today
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