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Andy Murray beats Grigor Dimitrov at Miami Masters

Murray survives early scare to see off 'Baby Fed' in straight sets and reach last eight

By
Mike Dickson

PUBLISHED:

21:41 GMT, 25 March 2013

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UPDATED:

08:00 GMT, 26 March 2013

Andy Murray was given another look at the extravagant potential of Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov but still managed to surpress him to reach the last eight of the Sony Open in Miami.

Seeking to go one better than his runner-up berth last year at the same tournament, Murray was pushed all the way by the player who rejoices in the nickname of Baby Fed or Primetime before winning out 7-6, 6-3 in an hour and 53 minutes.

The British No 1 needed to come back from 5-2 down in the first set and was constantly rocked by the fluent shotmaking of the 21 year-old world No 32, who has long been tipped as a future Grand Slam champion.

At full stretch: Andy Murray is through to the fourth round of the Miami Masters after winning 7-6, 6-3

At full stretch: Andy Murray is through to the fourth round of the Miami Masters after winning 7-6, 6-3

Kim Sears

Andy Murray

In the shade: Kim Sears watches on as partner Murray sees off Dimitrov in straight sets

Afterwards Murray
told www.atptour.com: 'It was obviously way cooler [with] much slower conditions. The ball wasn't going as quick. I was leaving the
ball a bit short.

'Once I started to improve my depth a bit, I made it tough for him and he started to make more mistakes after that.'

Probably the most gifted of an
emerging group that also features the likes of Milos Raonic and Bernard
Tomic, Dimitrov showcased his full array of strokes before losing out to
the superior consistency and toughness of the US Open champion.

With a flowing backhand to die for
the younger player's talent has never been in question, but he remains
notoriously nervous when it comes to the crunch moments, and that
tendency was to return to haunt him when he had the first set in his
grasp.

Grigor Dimitrov

Andy Murray

Outclassed: Grigor Dimitrov (left) was not match for Murray in their third-round clash

Less than two weeks ago he had the
opportunity to serve out the first set against Novak Djokovic in Indian
Wells but managed to send down four double faults in the attempt.

This time he had Murray on the ropes
at 5-3, 30-30 and the contributed three of the same thing – and the 25
year-old Scot rarely spurns such charity.

Dimitrov had gone 3-1 up, then been broken back, and then broken again to take advantage of an edgy start from Murray.

Baby Fed: Dimitrov's style has been compared to Roger Federer and he is said to be dating Maria Sharapova

Baby Fed: Dimitrov's style has been compared to Roger Federer and he is said to be dating Maria Sharapova

Grigor Dimitrov

Maria Sharapova

But when it came to the tiebreak the
world No 3 made him play one ball too many when it really counted and
he ran out a 7-3 loser.

There have been times when he has
capitulated in the second set against more experienced players but he
kept Murray on his toes, and the British No 1 often needed to be at his
best to cope.

Reunited this week with coach Ivan
Lendl, Murray requires a good performance in what is his second home in
the absence of Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal to properly regain his
momentum post-Australian Open.

If he wins the event he is guaranteed to over take the former as world No 2. He next plays Italian number one Andreas Seppi.

Silver service: The British No 1 arrives in his new Aston Martin prior to today's third-round match

Silver service: The British No 1 arrives in his new Aston Martin prior to today's third-round match

Silver service: The British No 1 arrives in his new Aston Martin prior to today's third-round match

Danny Rose smeared in Serbian video over racist abuse

'Danny Rose is lying to whom' Serbian FA's bizarre video bid to smear England Under 21 star amid racism storm

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UPDATED:

09:46 GMT, 19 October 2012

The Serbian FA have shamefully tried to discredit Danny Rose’s claim that he was racially abused by fans during England’s Under 21 European Championship play-off win on Tuesday.

Just 24 hours after the Serbs insisted there had been no racist chanting during the ill-tempered clash in Krusevac, their official YouTube channel posted a bizarre video mocking the Tottenham player’s accusation.

Watch the astonishing video here

DM.has('rcpv1911255850001','BCVideo');

The heavily edited six-minute clip,
entitled ‘Danny Rose is lying to whom’, contained footage of Rose in
action at various moments in the game, with no apparent evidence of
racist abuse aimed at him.

However, the video ended at 76
minutes and ignored the explosive end to the game in which Rose was
shown a red card for kicking a ball into the crowd out of frustration at
the abuse from the stands.

Other YouTube footage had clearly
implicated the crowd, while several witnesses gave first-hand accounts
of the abuse, which England players insisted had taken place from the
warm-up onwards.

Livid: Danny Rose argues with Milos Ninkovic after the final whistle

Livid: Danny Rose argues with Milos Ninkovic after the final whistle

Below the Serbian FA video clip, which was brought to the attention of Sportsmail by www.101greatgoals.com, a
caption read: ‘Danny Rose said: “Every time I touched the ball, they
were doing the monkey chanting again”. As you can see in this video,
there was no unsportsmanlike cheering and insulting opposing players on
racial grounds.’

The clip was posted by ‘Fudbalski
savez Srbije’ — the domestic name of the Serbian FA, and a link to the
video appeared on the governing body’s official website.

Rose, now on loan at Sunderland, will
talk to manager Martin O’Neill before a decision is made as to whether
he is in the right state of mind to play in Sunday’s Wear-Tyne derby.

Heated: Jordan Henderson attempts to keep Serbain counterparts away from Rose (right)

Heated: Jordan Henderson attempts to keep Serbain counterparts away from Rose (right)

Rose, described as inconsolable after
the game, returned to Sunderland and took part in a light
training session ahead of the clash with Newcastle.

O’Neill said: ‘I will speak to him
and give him a day or two, and let him try to start focusing on the
game. I am sure he would want to play. I am getting to know Danny, I
think he is a good little character, he wants to play every week.

‘It was disappointing considering the
efforts here to eradicate racism. It is something he won’t have
encountered and a difficult situation. Obviously I have the utmost
sympathy and empathy.’

Farcical: Rose was sent off by Turkish referee Huseyin Gocek after the final whistle

Farcical: Rose was sent off by Turkish referee Huseyin Gocek after the final whistle

Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas has
also offered his support and confirmed he has spoken to the 22-year-old.
He said: ‘It’s extremely difficult for Danny. He was disappointed by
the situation he had to live with. I told Daniel I support him
completely.’

Chris Hughton, the Premier League’s
only black manager, has called for UEFA to order national associations
found guilty of racist abuse from supporters to play behind closed doors
or be banned.

The Norwich boss said: ‘This gives UEFA a good opportunity to stamp their authority on this, for them to be big and brave.’

Danny Rose is lying to whom? Serbian FA appear to release doctored video of U21 game

'Danny Rose is lying to whom' Serbian FA appear to release doctored video of U21 game

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UPDATED:

21:07 GMT, 18 October 2012

The Serbian Football Association seems to have published a video on their YouTube channel challenging Danny Rose's claims that he was a victim of monkey chanting in every time he touched the ball during England Under 21s 1-0 victory in Krusevac on Tuesday.

A day after releasing an astonishing statement which accused Rose of behaving
in an 'inappropriate, unsportsmanlike and vulgar manner' towards
supporters after being sent off after the final whistle, the Serbian FA released a six-minute video clip entitled: “Danny Rose is lying to whom”

Watch the astonishing video here

Posted by 'Fudbalski savez Srbije', which appears to be the legitimate channel of the Serbian FA, the video contains a montage of Rose in action in the play-off, but without audible monkey chants.

'As you can see in this video, during the Uefa Under-21 play-off game, there was no unsportsmanlike cheering and insulting opposing players on racial grounds,' reads a caption alongside the video, which was brought to the attention of Sportsmail by www.101greatgoals.com.

But whistling is to be heard at points and Rose makes a gesture towards the crowd, as if he has been the subject of abuse.

Livid: Danny Rose argues with Milos Ninkovic after the final whistle

Livid: Danny Rose argues with Milos Ninkovic after the final whistle

The video is also edited before the unsavoury climax of the match, which sparked a mass melee between players and coaching staff from both sides.

Rose was inconsolable following the Euro 2013 play-off after being exposed to a torrent of racism – as well as being pelted with missiles – by Serbian thugs for 90 minutes.

'Every time I touched the ball, they [the Serbia fans] were doing the monkey chanting again,' he said on Wednesday. 'I think they have to be banned. I think it is right. I don't understand how else they can learn from it. They have to be banned.'

US Open 2012: Andy Murray to fight Tomas Berdych from first point

Murray promises he'll take fight to Berdych from the very start in semi-final showdown

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UPDATED:

08:08 GMT, 7 September 2012

Andy Murray has vowed to be switched on from the first point when he meets Tomas Berdych in the semi-finals of the US Open on Saturday.

The Scot had been expected to face world No 1 Roger Federer in a rematch of their Wimbledon and Olympic finals but Berdych produced a stunning upset.

Murray looked set to be the victim of another shock when he trailed Marin Cilic by a set and 5-1 in their quarter-final on his bete noire, Louis Armstrong Stadium, but he pulled himself through, with more than a little help from a nervous opponent.

Last four: Andy Murray overcame a slow start to beat Marin Cilic in the quarters

Last four: Andy Murray overcame a slow start to beat Marin Cilic in the quarters

The good news for the third seed is he will certainly be on Arthur Ashe, where he has put in his two best performances of the tournament, especially in beating Canadian rising star Milos Raonic in the fourth round.

Murray managed largely to stay on a even keel mentally against Cilic despite his struggles – a legacy of the work he has done with coach Ivan Lendl – but he knows he must step things up if he is to reach a second consecutive grand slam final.

The Scot said: 'You never know exactly what's going to happen but I would hope that, going into the match on Saturday, I'll be in a good place mentally.

'I'll fight from the first point to the last. If I do that, I'll give myself a shot. But I can't afford to start like I did [on Wednesday night] – that's for sure.'

Murray's exploits in reaching his first Wimbledon final and then thrashing Federer to win Olympic gold have made him many people's favourite to win a maiden grand slam title here.

Dangerman: Czech Tomas Berdych has the power to beat any opponent

Dangerman: Czech Tomas Berdych has the power to beat any opponent

One advantage he will have over Berdych, which certainly would not have been the case against Federer, is experience.

This will be the Scot's eighth semi-final appearance at the last 10 grand slams, of which he has won two, while Berdych's only trip to the last four in that time came in his run to the Wimbledon final in 2010.

Indeed, the 26-year-old lost in the first round at the All England Club this year and then again at the Olympics but has well and truly turned his form around.

With his natural power and timing, Berdych is understandably confident in his abilities, and he said: 'If my game is well and I'm able to play my game, then I have a quite dangerous game to beat anyone.'

The other semi-final will be between defending champion Novak Djokovic and David Ferrer, who came through great matches against Juan Martin Del Potro and Janko Tipsarevic, respectively.

Meanwhile, Murray's victory over Cilic secured his place at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London in November.

The 25-year-old joins Federer, Djokovic and Rafael Nadal in booking his spot for what will be a fifth consecutive appearance at the end-of-season showpiece for the Scot.

US Open 2012: Andy Murray success secret is a lady with large hands!

Murray set for Cilic test… but the secret of Andy's success A lady with large hands!

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UPDATED:

00:36 GMT, 5 September 2012

The world's leading athletes are used to having entourages around them which make their arrival at the big sporting venues appear like that of royalty, and Andy Murray is no different.

But when he first landed here ahead of the US Open, he took the unusual step of ditching everyone and spending several days as a relative hermit in the big city.

It was an unusual step from someone who has always been prepared to do the unpredictable, but this means of recharging himself after a strenuous and sometimes emotional summer appears to be paying off.

Eyes on the prize: Andy Murray will face Marin Cilic in the US Open quarter-finals

Eyes on the prize: Andy Murray will face Marin Cilic in the US Open quarter-finals

Yet again the 25-year-old Scot is into
the last eight of a Grand Slam, setting up a meeting with Croatia’s
Marin Cilic after quite brilliantly dismantling the game of the
increasingly feared Canadian Milos Raonic.

The world No 15’s supersonic serve
provides a mental test as well as one of reflexes and anticipation.
Murray was more than equal to it in winning 6-4, 6-4, 6-2. His progress
thus far suggests whatever he did to re-energise himself following his
exploits on grass is working.

‘When I got here I took three days off
and just spent some time on my own,’ he said of retreating into his
hotel adjacent to Central Park. ‘I hadn’t had any time on my own since
the Olympics and felt I needed some time away from the others because
otherwise it can get a bit sterile. I just did things like watch a lot
of football on television and got my own breakfast, lunch and dinner
from the local Whole Foods store. I had a massage in the hotel spa from
a big lady with large hands.

‘When I’m at home I’m always with Kim
(Sears, his girlfriend) or with friends so this was the first time in a
while I had a few days by myself and I just walked around doing my
thing. It was nice to relax and be on my own for a bit.’

Chillout: Murray sought some time away from Ivan Lendl

Chill out: Murray sought some time away from coach Ivan Lendl (above) and girlfriend Kim Sears (below) to relax in his own company in New York

Support: Murray's girlfriend Kim Sears

The man who occasionally sits alone on
Wimbledon Centre Court out of season to contemplate has learned a lot
from Ivan Lendl about how to manage himself in this way and conserve
energy during the three-week stay often required by a Grand Slam.

It is why you so rarely see Murray
hanging out socially at the tournament site any more. Lendl was always
keen on outside diversions and these days plays golf obsessively to take
his mind off professional duties.

For example, before the pair met up
for practice on the morning of the Raonic match, Lendl was adding more
silverware to his cabinet in nearby Conneticut.

Murray said: ‘He played the final of his club championship and won 9&7 so he was pretty happy with himself when he came in.

‘I think that’s his golfing done for a few days so he can concentrate on the quarter-final from now on.’

NUMBERS THAT SHOW ANDY GIVES
NO QUARTER…

8 – Murray has reached the quarter-finals of his last eight Grand Slams, a run that goes back to his 2010 third-round defeat at Flushing Meadows by Stanislas Wawrinka.

87.5 – His win percentage in those eight matches, losing only to David Ferrer in four sets at the French Open.

26 – The number of further consecutive quarter-finals Murray needs to make before he equals Roger Federer's record streak of 34 (and counting). That would take him to the year 2019.

6 – Sets lost by the British No 1 in those eight quarter-final matches.

146 – Total games won in those matches, compared to the 109 he has lost.

75.9 – Murray's win percentage at the US Open (won 22, lost 7). His only final appearance came in 2008, when he lost in straight sets to Federer.

33 – Total Grand Slam wins of his three great rivals (Federer 17, Nadal – 11, Djokovic 5) in the world top four. The Olympic champion is yet to break his Grand Slam duck.

The world No 4 will try and bamboozle
Cilic as he has done on previous occasions, most recently at Wimbledon
where the Croat put in a very limp performance.

For all his 140mph thunderbolts, Raonic was reduced to doleful smiles by the end as he failed to make any impression on Murray.

‘After the match he said, “Sorry, I
got lucky a few times”,’ revealed Raonic. ‘I said don’t be sorry, it was
simply amazing. I tried three different ways to beat him. I tried
playing at the back, I tried playing higher up the court, I tried coming
into the net. I didn’t have any solutions.’

Cilic is a similar build but a
different player, a superb mover for his height and more solid in the
rally than Raonic. He lacks a blockbuster serve. That partly explains
why he has never quite been able to deliver on the rich promise he
showed in his late teens.

Already it is hard not to look ahead
to a potential rematch of the recent Wimbledon battles with Roger
Federer, although the Swiss phenomenon has a difficult quarter-final
against Czech Tomas Berdych, who again looks threatening.

Murray v Cilic

Federer was gifted his last-eight place when Mardy Fish withdrew, but his comfortable ride should come to an abrupt stop now.

Defending champion Samantha Stosur,
who vanquished Laura Robson in the fourth round, came desperately close
to beating world No 1 Victoria Azarenka on Tuesday night in the best
match of the women’s event to date.

The world No 7, trying to rediscover
the form that saw her beat Serena Williams in last year’s final, nearly
pulled off a fine comeback but was outpointed 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 by the
shrieking Belarusian.

Azarenka just kept her nerve at the
end of the tiebreak to nick the last two points and win it 7-5. She was
awaiting the winner of Maria Sharapova versus Marion Bartoli, with the
French player jumping to a surprise 4-0 lead before another downpour
caused the day session to be abandoned.

Tricky opponent: Marin Cilic

Rock Bottom

Andy Murray’s defeat by Marin Cilic at the US Open in 2009 was one of
his unhappiest Grand Slam memories and the precursor to a low Davis Cup
experience.

Murray fell limply 7-5, 6-2, 6-2 in New York, complaining of
a sore wrist. He then risked the injury as Great Britain lost to Poland the following week,
recalling: ‘I couldn’t hit a topspin backhand for about eight weeks
after that.’

US Open 2012: Andy Murray beats Milos Raonic

Murray dismantles big serving Raonic to line up US Open quarter-final with Cilic

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UPDATED:

07:10 GMT, 4 September 2012

The furies of Milos Raonic's serve were made to count for nothing as Andy Murray reached a level not seen since the Olympics to dismantle the young Canadian and make the last eight of the US Open.

Swapping the boiling heat of his last match against Feliciano Lopez on Saturday afternoon for a cool evening, the 25 year-old Scot humbled the world number fifteen in exactly two hours 6-4 6-4 6-2, managing to avoid the expected bad weather due to hit American’s Eastern Seaboard.

For the eighth consecutive time Murray is through to a Grand Slam quarter final and now faces Croatian Marin Cilic, who he comfortably defeated en route to the Wimbledon final in July.

Magic Murray: Raonic was brushed aside with minimal fuss at Flushing Meadows

Magic Murray: Raonic was brushed aside with minimal fuss at Flushing Meadows

Raonic threw everything he had Murray but it was not remotely enough thanks to some brilliant returning backed up by an outstanding serving display of his own that never gave the 21 year-old Canadian, regarded as the game’s most dangerous emerging talent, the sniff of an upset.

There was not a single break point against the favourite’s serve after the match was brought forward in anticipation of weather disruption. If Cilic can be beaten for what would be the seventh time out of eight in their meetings then a semi-final against Roger Federer looms.

'I used a lot of variation tonight,' said Murray. 'Milos has got a huge game, a massive serve and I just had to guess sometimes on the returns. I got lucky a couple of times and I hit my passing shots very well, which was important.

'I've only played him one time before, so you start to see things after a few games. But he started serving a lot of big serves and I was just trying to react as quickly as possible. That’s all you can do. I was lucky because sometimes they fly past you and sometimes you get a racket on it. Tonight I got a racket on it.

'It's so important that you focus on
every service game because if you let him back into it you can maybe not
touch the ball on his service for three or four games. I tried to stay
focused for every point and did a good job of that.'

Big hitter: Murray wasn't dominated by Raonic's mighty serve

Big hitter: Murray wasn't dominated by Raonic's mighty serve

Big hitter: Murray wasn't dominated by Raonic's mighty serve

He was delighted to have got through ahead of threatened thunderstorms.

'We found out it was being switched about five minutes after we arrived at the stadium . It throws you a little bit, but both of us agreed to go on at 7.30 because we heard that rain was coming at 9.30. I was glad we got it done before the rain started.

'I expect a tough match against Cilic. I lost against him here in the fourth round in 2009. I've played him a few times. I won against him at Wimbledon in our most recent match. He’s a tough player. He works extremely hard, he’s got a solid game and I’ll need to play very well to beat him.'

The very first point saw a blinding backhand passing winner from Murray that was to set the tone for the night, although it was tense until he managed to get his first break.

Murray's agonised reaction to missing his first break opportunity told of the pressure that the Raonic serve brings to opponents, but as it turned out there would be plenty more as the Olympic gold medallist began to read the serve.

He got Raonic to 0-40 at 4-4 and was
thwarted by serves of 136 mph and 131 mph, but then managed to get in a
rally which was won with a drop shot.

Put it there: The Pair shake hands after the entertaining clash in New York

Put it there: The Pair shake hands after the entertaining clash in New York

Put it there: The Pair shake hands after the entertaining clash in New York

Put it there: The Pair shake hands after the entertaining clash in New York

Moving with fluency, much more so than in Saturday’s sticky win over Lopez, he got the Canadian in trouble again at 2-2 in the second and on a third break point gratefully received a forehand in the net.

For much of the time he made Raonic look ordinary, and it is true that his all-round game does not match his serve, but the margin of victory was still surprising given the hot streaks he is capable of launching.

/09/04/article-2197962-14D2EC68000005DC-715_306x423.jpg” width=”306″ height=”423″ alt=”All smiles: Murray was watched – as usual – by his girlfriend Kim Sears” class=”blkBorder” />

All smiles: Murray was watched - as usual - by his girlfriend Kim Sears

All smiles: Murray was watched – as usual – by his girlfriend Kim Sears

Murray had only just walked off the court after taking exactly two hours to wrap up the victory when the rain began to fall, which was fitting on a night when it seemed the Scot could do nothing wrong.

He said: 'It just started raining just now, so it was perfect timing to finish.

'When we got told the match was getting moved a bit earlier, it wasn't so much the match getting earlier that was hard – it's knowing there is possibly going to be showers and stops, which can disrupt the rhythm of the match and can make it tough, especially when you're playing against someone with as big a serve as him.

'It's tough to get into a rhythm when there isn't stops in the match. I was glad I managed to get the match done before the rain came.'

At 21, Raonic is closing in fast on the top 10 and his huge serve and forehand make him a threat to even the game's best players.

He had demolished James Blake in the previous round and it was partly because of the danger posed by the young Canadian that Murray made sure his concentration never wavered.

'I knew going into the match that I was going to have to return well,' the third seed said. 'And then I also had to stay extremely focused and give as few points as possible on my serve away.

'He was always going to come up with some big returns or come to the net a couple of times, get me in tough positions on my serve.

In the limelight: Murray looked unstoppable against Raonic at Flushing Meadows

In the limelight: Murray looked unstoppable against Raonic at Flushing Meadows

In the limelight: Murray looked unstoppable against Raonic at Flushing Meadows

'But I passed really well tonight when I needed to. I kind of made him back away from the net. I had to play extremely solid, and I did that.'

Raonic was left almost in awe of Murray's performance, and he told the Scot so when they shook hands at the net.

Raonic said: 'He said, 'Sorry, I got lucky a few times.' I said, “Don't be sorry – it was simply amazing. Keep it up and you'll do well”.

'Considering what I was able to put into the match, to have somebody that took me out of it and neutralised me and took it even one step further… I haven't really felt in that situation too much when I feel like I'm doing things well.'

Raonic had served 89 aces in his first three matches – substantially more than anyone else in the tournament – and in the first few games Murray struggled to get a racquet on the ball.

Get in there! The heavens opened almost as soon as Murray left the court

Get in there! The heavens opened almost as soon as Murray left the court

Murray's tally of 31 winners and 12 unforced errors was a reflection of his quality, while he was delighted to deny Raonic any chance of a break.

'On this surface, against a big hitter like him, normally you'll have to save some break points,' Murray added. 'But I served really smart today, did a good job behind my serve.

'I did the same at the Olympics. I didn't get broken the last three matches I played there. It's really important to serve well the deeper you go in the tournament. It conserves a lot of energy.

'The first round I served really badly, so there were long baseline rallies. It's physically tiring when you're serving at or 29 per cent or whatever I was serving at in the first match. So I was happy with that.'

US Open 2012: Andy Murray beat Feliciano Lopez 7-6, 7-6, 4-6, 7-6

Murray made to sweat as he squeezes past Lopez but hotter tasks await

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UPDATED:

22:44 GMT, 1 September 2012

There is nothing like a straightforward win at a Grand Slam tournament when the temperature is hot enough to fry an egg on the court surface and there are still four matches before the final.

Sadly for Andy Murray, Saturday night's win was anything but easy. Forget about the fact that the Scot claimed a four-set victory over Feliciano Lopez in the third round of the US Open. This was an epic which the British No 1 finally came through 7-6, 7-6, 4-6, 7-6 on the Louis Armstrong Court. At what cost remains to be seen.

The Spaniard, nicknamed ‘Deliciano’ by Murray’s mother, Judy, for his Latin good looks, pushed the Scot to the limits throughout a tight match that could so easily have swung the other way.

There it is: Andy Murray celebrates his win

There it is: Andy Murray celebrates his win

The 25-year-old Scot has Sunday to
recover before the prospect of a fourth-round tie against either Milos
Raonic, from Canada, or America’s James Blake, who played later on
Saturday in less demanding conditions.

It was not supposed to happen like
this. Murray had enjoyed a record of six wins in six meetings against
his 30-year-old Spanish friend, a run of victories that have seen Lopez
take just one set from the No 3 seed.

In last year’s identical third round
Murray won again in straight sets. This time it was very different.
Lopez matched the Olympic champion almost point for point, just losing
out when it mattered most.

It was the last thing Murray needed in
brutal heat. ‘I was struggling physically,’ Murray admitted. ‘It was
incredibly hot out there. The heat made the conditions extremely
challenging.

Going through: Murray made it into the second week at Flushing Meadows

Going through: Murray made it into the second week at Flushing Meadows

Hard work: Murray was run close in a tough match

Hard work: Murray was run close in a tough match

‘I was a couple of sets up and would
have liked to have played better but it didn’t happen the way I’d have
liked. But I played well in the tie break and that was the difference. I
started serving better when it mattered but there’s no doubt I can play
better.

‘I’ll be back in the next match giving 100 per cent.’

Both men moved like sloths in between
points and grabbed towels and drinks at every chance. Elsewhere two
junior players were forced to stop their match due to heat exhaustion.

There was little to suggest the war of
attrition that would follow a first game that Murray, aided by two
aces, won to love, but when Lopez followed suit in the second and then
had two break points in the third game we knew this was not going to
follow the expected script.

On the ball: Murray saw off Lopez for the seventh time in his career

On the ball: Murray saw off Lopez for the seventh time in his career

Bogey man: Feliciano Lopez cannot find a way past Murray

Bogey man: Feliciano Lopez cannot find a way past Murray

There was plenty of fight in Lopez,
notably in the 10th game of the first set when, facing three set points
against him, he fought back to win the game. The tie-break was only
resolved on the 12th point when Murray came through 7-5.

It was more of the same in the second
set, too. Murray took a 2-0 lead before Lopez broke back. The set went
with serve until the inevitable tie break, one which the Spaniard should
have closed with leads of 4-1 and 5-3. Instead Murray rattled off four
straight points to take the set 7-6 again with a 7-5 tie-break win.

The third set began in identical
fashion. Murray raced to a 2-0 lead as Lopez double-faulted but, just
when we thought the Spaniard had wilted, he bounced back to 2-2 and
then, having been broken again, to 4-4. Then he broke Murray and served
out the set to win 6-4.

Off the floor: Murray drags himself to his feet

Off the floor: Murray drags himself to his feet

The fourth set went with serve as both
players tired. Murray blew two break points in the eighth game, then
recovered to win the ninth.

In the 11th game Murray was a break point down but managed to salvage the situation by winning a 23-shot rally.

Inevitably the fourth set reached a
third tie-break. There was more drama, including a lucky net-cord that
fell in Murray’s favour. Finally, Murray prevailed after three hours and
53 minutes, winning the tie-break 7-4.

Closing in: Can Murray finally win a Grand Slam

Closing in: Can Murray finally win a Grand Slam

It provoked a scream of ‘Come on’ and a look to the heavens. It was, in truth, a look of utter relief.

Murray’s Olympic gold was supposed to
have imbued him with new-found confidence which made him favourite in
many people’s eyes to finally break his Slam duck. .

It may still happen, of course. Murray
is through to the fourth round, but the heat shows no sign of abating
and Federer, who beat Fernando Verdasco 6-3, 6-4, 6-4, and probably
Novak Djokovic still wait for him.

Packed out: Fans turned up in their droves

Packed out: Fans turned up in their droves

Raonic survives scare to join Tsonga and Berdych in second round of US Open

Raonic survives scare to join Tsonga and Berdych in second round of US Open

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UPDATED:

22:28 GMT, 28 August 2012

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Tomas Berdych
both eased through to the second round of the US Open but dark horse
Milos Raonic was pushed all the way by Colombia's Santiago Giraldo.

The Canadian 15th seed is the
brightest of the next generation and is seen as a potential threat to
the big names but he looked on his way out at two sets to one and a
break down.

Scare: Milos Raonic was pushed to the limit

Scare: Milos Raonic was pushed to the limit

Raonic, a potential fourth-round opponent for Andy Murray, was decidedly out of sorts in the roasting conditions at Flushing Meadows but turned things around to win 6-3 4-6 3-6 6-4 6-4 in three hours and 25 minutes.

Fifth seed Tsonga had no such problems against Slovakia's Karol Beck, although he did have to come from a break down in the third set to triumph 6-3 6-1 7-6 (7/2).

The Frenchman said: 'I think I played good tennis the first two sets, and after that I lost a bit of concentration at the beginning of the third set.

'Then I put in some effort to come back. It was not easy today because the weather was hot. I'm happy to go through this round really quickly.'

Safe passage: France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Safe passage: France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga

Sixth seed Berdych was tested by talented Belgian David Goffin, who reached the fourth round of the French Open as a lucky loser, but did not lose a set, coming through 7-5 6-3 6-3.

The Czech saved 16 of the 18 break points he faced, and he said: 'It's a good statistic for me. I think he has a pretty good future ahead of him. If he keeps doing what he's doing, then I think we can see him quite high in the future.'

Home favourite Andy Roddick, seeded 20th this year, saw off young American Rhyne Williams 6-3 6-4 6-4 while 11th seed Nicolas Almagro from Spain defeated Czech Radek Stepanek 6-4 6-7 (5/7) 6-3 6-4.

Andy Murray pulls out of Toronto showdown due to knee injury

Murray pulls out of Toronto showdown against local hero amid injury concerns

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UPDATED:

22:33 GMT, 9 August 2012

Andy Murray's high after winning Olympic gold was ended after the world No 4 withdrew from the Rogers Cup with a knee injury.

The second seed, who won the singles
title at London 2012 with a straight-sets defeat of world No 1 Roger
Federer, had been due to play Canadian Milos Raonic for a place in the
quarter-finals.

No chances: Andy Murray leaves the Toronto Masters

No chances: Team Murray leaves the Toronto Masters

Murray, who also picked up a silver medal in London after teaming up with Laura Robson in the mixed doubles, had felt soreness in his knee after his win over Italian Flavio Cipolla on Wednesday.

'It's unfortunate. I think it would have been a fun match,' said Murray.

The British No 1 added on www.atpworldtour.com: 'I hope he has a good tournament. It will be great for him to go deep in this the tournament here for the first time.'

After physio work both over two days Murray decided it was best not to risk further injury, with the start of the US Open less than three weeks away.

Precaution: Murray didn't want to risk serious injury with US Open three weeks away

Precaution: Murray didn't want to risk serious injury with US Open three weeks away

The Scot explained: 'It was a bit sore yesterday, then I had some treatment after the match. It felt a bit better, and then came in today, I saw the physios, they did some work on it, and it's still a bit sore.

'I did a little warm-up on the bike to try it out and it was still sore, so I had to make a decision as to what I was going to do… I don't want to go full out and possibly do any more damage. That was why I decided not to play.'

Raonic was able to pass on his best wishes to Murray when they spoke after the Canadian learned of his opponent's withdrawal.

He said: '[I] just wished him that he gets healthy quick, because he's been playing really well lately.

'It's my first quarter-final in a Masters [1000], and to be at home is pretty special. I guess there is a give and take with it.'

London 2012 Olympics: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga beats Milos Raonic 25-23 in longest set

Tsonga wins longest set in Olympic history 25-23 to survive marathon with Milos

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UPDATED:

18:10 GMT, 31 July 2012

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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga defeated Milos Raonic after edging the longest set in Olympic tennis history on Tuesday.

Tsonga, of France, eventually won 6-3, 3-6, 25-23 in the second round at Wimbledon.

The fifth-seeded Tsonga of France leaped and roared when he won his fourth match point with a drop volley. Raonic of Canada congratulated Tsonga with a smile.

Sacre bleu: France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga celebrates finally beating Canada's Milos Raonic at Wimbledon

Sacre bleu: France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga celebrates finally beating Canada's Milos Raonic at Wimbledon

Tough nut to crack: Raonic pushed Tsonga all the way in the deciding set of their second-round match

Tough nut to crack: Raonic pushed Tsonga all the way in the deciding set of their second-round match

The previous record was 30 games, set in 2004 when Fernando Gonzalez defeated Taylor Dent 16-14 in the third set to win the bronze medal.