Murray wary of Croat's serving ability
Friday 24 June 2011
There is no satisfying the perfectionist that is Andy Murray. After beating Tobias Kamke here on Wednesday evening the 24-year-old Scot headed for the practice courts, keen to iron out the weaknesses he had identified in the course of his straight-sets victory. In the end he had to wait – they were closed, even to Britain's best player for three-quarters of a century – but he was back at work yesterday to prepare for his third-round meeting today with Ivan Ljubicic.
The 32-year-old Croatian, a former world No 3, will be a significant step up in class after Murray's first two matches, against Daniel Gimeno-Traver (No 59) and Kamke (No 83). Ljubicic may not be the force he was – he is now ranked No 33 – but is still one to be reckoned with.
Ljubicic has rarely looked at his best at the All England Club, but he knocked out his highly-rated fellow countryman, Marin Cilic, in the first round before beating Sergiy Stakhovsky in straight sets in the second.
"He serves well," Murray admitted. "That always makes it difficult. His best results aren't on grass, which is surprising for someone who serves like him. Obviously, when you play against [someone like] Roddick you feel like, once you get into rallies, you know you can sometimes control him and dictate. But players can take some chances on your serve if they're holding comfortably. That can put a bit of pressure on you, so I have to make sure I return well."
Murray's returns are usually a big strength but he felt he could have done better against Kamke. His serve, though, has looked in good shape. Gimeno-Traver had only three break points – he converted one, to take the only set Murray has dropped so far – while Kamke forced just one. Murray won an impressive 90 per cent of his first-serve points against Gimeno-Traver and 84 per cent against Kamke.
Head-to-head, Ljubicic and Murray stand at three wins apiece. Murray lost their last meeting in China in October, but his win in Madrid five years ago when the Croatian was at his peak was one of his most memorable early victories. Now the world No 4 is enjoying himself. "The pressure is nicer in some ways once you get through a round or two," he said. "You're not necessarily expected to win easily or whatever."
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