Murray takes time to tame surface

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The Independent Online

Andy Murray said yesterday that he was taking time to adjust to the new court surface at the SAP Open in San Jose as he prepares for the quarter-finals of the tournament, which he won last year.

The British No 1 reached the last eight with a 6-0, 6-7, 6-4 victory over Denmark's Kristian Pless. The third seed and defending champion, who had disposed of the American Kevin Kim 6-3, 6-1 in the first round on Tuesday, wasted little time in wrapping up the first set but was forced to regroup after the world No 83 took the second on a tie-break.

"To be fair to Pless, he started off great in the second set and it's tough to get back into the set when you're behind on these very fast courts," said the Scot. "My serve kept me in the match today. I didn't return as well as I normally do and my groundstrokes weren't as solid.

"I felt a little sluggish but I wasn't playing badly. I was able to get through and, on this court, I was able to keep the ball down. I started to come at the net a little bit. I felt like I had to try some different things. "

Murray, who will face either Simon Greul or Lee Hyung Taik in the next round, revealed he is still trying to find his rhythm. "I have a day's rest to prepare for my next opponent," Murray said. "That will give me more time to practise on the new court."

The tournament is using a surface called Latex-ite whereas, in previous years, a synthetic surface known as Supreme Court was used. "I have to keep the ball down. I played in Bangkok on the same surface - it was pretty quick," the Scot said.

Murray will work with his coach Brad Gilbert in preparation for the tie with Greul or Lee. "I feel like I'm getting better when we work on different things," Murray said. "During the match, he just takes notice of what I do. I'm sure we'll work on tactics that he thinks will work against these two players."

* Tim Henman's knee injury will keep him out of the ABN AMRO tournament which starts in Rotterdam on Monday.