Andy Murray showed a ruthless streak yesterday when he achieved victory over the American Robert Kendrick without losing a game at the Hall of Fame Championships in Newport, Rhode Island.
Underlining the uncompromising manner of his 6-0, 6-0 victory was the fact that the British No 1 had earlier completed his match against Sam Querrey after poor weather had seen it spread over three days. Less than two hours after a 7-5, 6-2 victory Murray returned to face another unseeded American with Kendrick seemingly in an enviable position of being well rested, having had a free day up until that point.
However, Murray raced into a 3-0 lead before a see-saw fourth game saw both players squander opportunities. Eventually, though, it was the Scot who took advantage of poor serving by Kendrick to take a 4-0 lead and he went on to win the next two games, breaking the American's serve to claim the first set in a little over half an hour.
The second set followed the same pattern and it was not until the 10th game of the match Kendrick appeared on the verge of interrupting the Scot's relentless march.
The American recovered from 40-0 down to serve for the opportunity to get on the scoreboard, but Murray repelled the American to open up a 4-0 lead. The pattern repeated itself in the following game, and the 19-year-old Briton again triumphed to serve for the match after less than an hour.
Murray's serve was ruthlessly efficient, in comparison with the wasteful Kendrick, and he will now face the eighth seed, the American Justin Gimelstob, as he looks to become the first top seed to win the competition.
Murray's British compatriot Alex Bogdanovic appeared to be en route to the semi-finals after winning the first set before being comprehensively beaten in three sets by Jürgen Melzer.
The British No 4, who qualified for the last eight with a fine win over Georg Bastl, took the first set 6-3 before surrendering the second with the acquisition of just two games. He then went 3-0 down in the decider before pulling one game back, but Melzer regained complete control to win 3-2, 6-2, 6-1.
The Austrian sent down seven aces, in contrast to the Briton's one, and took better advantage of his chances, converting four of his nine break points while Bogdanovic only capitalised on 20 per cent of his.
In Gstaad, Switzerland, the defending champion, Gaston Gaudio, went out in the quarter-finals of the Swiss Open yesterday, losing, 6-3, 6-2, to the 20-year-old Frenchman Richard Gasquet. The Argentinian second seed slumped at the end of the first set and the start of the second, losing five games in a row. Gasquet completed the defeat of the 2004 French Open champion with an ace to set up a semi-final with Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber.
Kohlschreiber, No 72 in the world, booked his place in the last four with a surprise 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, win over the Spanish third seed, Fernando Verdasco.
The top seed, Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia, playing his second match of the day after rain had disrupted the schedule over the previous two days, lost 7-6, 6-3 to the Spanish sixth seed, Feliciano Lopez, in the last eight. Ljubicic had earlier struggled past Swiss wild card Marco Chiudinelli, 6-7, 6-3, 6-2 while Lopez completed a 6-7, 6-3, 7-6 win over fellow Spaniard Ruben Ramirez Hildalgo in a match held over from the previous day.
* The French Open champion, Rafael Nadal, has pulled out of next week's Mercedes Cup ATP clay-court event in Stuttgart with an injury to his left hand.Reuse content