Murray's run burns hole in his credit card

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The Independent Online

Reaching the last 16 of the US Open is all very well but spending this long in the Big Apple with his new coach, Brad Gilbert, is costing Andy Murray a fortune.

"My credit card's struggling," Murray admitted on Sunday night after his five-set victory over Fernando Gonzalez. "I told Brad that I've spent more money in restaurants in the last three weeks than I have in the last three years. It's a little bit ridiculous. But he enjoys his food. It keeps him happy."

Murray, whose deadpan sense of humour is not always understood here, had the hint of a smile on his face. This is his favourite tournament in his favourite city and the idea of eating out at swish restaurants alongside the likes of Maria Sharapova, Andre Agassi and Andy Roddick, as he did on Saturday night, clearly appeals. "That was pretty cool," the 19-year-old Scot admitted.

"Pretty cool" would also be a fair assessment of the nerve he showed in beating Gonzalez, who has been one of the form players of the American hard-court season. The 26-year-old No 10 seed has a mighty forehand, which was in full flow as he led their third-round match by two sets to one. But Murray stuck to his task and won 6-3, 3-6, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2.

Having not had a break point since the first set, Murray took control from 3-3 in the fourth, winning seven games in a row. The fiery Chilean had a point deducted for ball abuse and smashed two rackets, but it was his game that fell to pieces under the pressure of the relentless quality of Murray's play.

If Murray seemed subdued in the early stages it was probably down to the emotion he had felt watching Agassi, one of his boyhood heroes, lose his last match just before he went on court. The Scot was one of the players who gave the tearful American a standing ovation when he returned to the locker-room.

Murray said: "I think 50 or 60 per cent of the people in there were probably in tears as well and were holding it back. I know I was."

Today Murray plays Russia's Nikolai Davydenko, who has reached No 6 in the world despite never having played in a Grand Slam or Masters series final. The 25-year-old beat Murray 6-3 in the final set in Indian Wells this year in their only previous meeting.

Murray said: "He's one of the most consistent players and has done well in all the Grand Slams in the last couple of years. His serve isn't that great and he doesn't volley so well, but he moves well and has some of the best groundstrokes in the world."

Murray's quarter of the draw was opened up by the five-set defeat of David Nalbandian, the No 4 seed, at the hands of Marat Safin in a rain-delayed second-round on Sunday. Safin went on to beat Belgium's Olivier Rochus last night and now plays Tommy Haas, who beat Robby Ginepri in a fifth set tie-break. The winner of that match would play Murray or Davydenko in the quarter-finals, with Roger Federer or James Blake likely to await in the last four.

Rafael Nadal continued his progress in the other half of the draw, a straight-sets win over Jiri Novak earning his first quarter-final here, against Russia's Mikhail Youzhny.

Justine Henin-Hardenne and Elena Dementieva, the No 2 and 4 seeds, reached the women's quarter-finals at the expense of Shahar Peer and Aravane Rezai respectively.

Dementieva now plays Serbia's Jelena Jankovic, who defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova. Henin-Hardenne meets Lindsay Davenport, who beat Patty Schnyder in straight sets.

* John Lloyd, Britain's new Davis Cup coach, has named Andy Murray, Greg Rusedski, Jamie Baker and Alan Mackin in his team for the relegation decider against Ukraine in Odessa later this month. Jamie Delgado, the reserve, will train with the team at a five-day training camp in Vienna before the tie. Lloyd will be assisted by the Swedish coach, Peter Lundgren, who used to work with Roger Federer.

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