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Andy Murray beats Carlos Berlocq in straight sets to march into Indian Wells quarter-finals

Murray silences Berlocq with straight sets victory to march into Indian Wells last eight

By
Mike Dickson

PUBLISHED:

02:22 GMT, 14 March 2013

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UPDATED:

06:07 GMT, 14 March 2013

Andy Murray fought out a niggly battle that did little to enhance relations between Britain and Argentina as he struggled to overcome the grunting Carlos Berlocq to reach the last eight of the BNP Paribas Open.

Amid accusations of deliberate stalling across the net and complaints to the umpire about the South American’s varied volume of lingering growl Murray eventually got the better of him in an ill-tempered affair, winning through 7-6 6-4 in an hour and 55 minutes.

He now meets another Argentinian in his fellow US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro, and will be relieved that he does not have to listen the ghastly soundtrack of Berlocq, which he described as ‘the worst I’ve ever heard on the men’s tour.'

On a run: Andy Murray sailed past Carlos Berlocq and into the quarter-finals

On a run: Andy Murray sailed past Carlos Berlocq and into the quarter-finals

Murray was particularly aggrieved that he was being warned about time violations between points while having to put up baritone groan of his muscular opponent.

'I’ve never experienced before when I’ve had to speak to an umpire about it,' he said. 'I’ve never found it to be that off-putting. But if it’s going to be suggested that I’m using gamesmanship by taking too long between points then you can’t be making noises like that on court. He was still making a noise when I was hitting the ball, it’s annoying. There was silence and then it was extremely loud, that’s off-putting.'

You wish other players would speak up against the habit, which is more associated with the women’s tour, but they rarely do.

As Murray admitted afterwards, he will have to play better if he is to progress further. 'It wasn’t the prettiest match and I’ve got to improve on it, but conditions were quite tough,' he said. 'When we went out there it was bright and in the 90s and the ball was bouncing very high, but as it got cooler and the sun went down my timing got better.'

Hot streak: Murray is enjoying his best run of results at Indian Wells

Hot streak: Murray is enjoying his best run of results at Indian Wells

Certainly you would not have expected Berlocq – happiest on clay, ranked 85 and never having been past the second round of a Grand Slam – to mount such a challenge, but he went for broke and hit some glorious winners to discomfort his opponent.

Having had six weeks off after the Australian Open Murray is yet to look entirely into his rhtythm at this tournament, where he has struggled before, although the fact is he is through to the last eight for the loss of just one set.

The only thing that will linger about the match was the bad blood that developed between the players from early in the first set onwards. Murray usually only gets cross with himself and rarely falls out with opponents, but he did not enjoy the way the barrel-chested Berlocq played the game and did not hide his feelings.

Having started in awkward conditions of glaring sun and mixed shadows across the court, he complained to his box – that contained his regular celebrity supporter Kevin Spacey – that 'I can’t see the ball!' as breaks were exchanged.

Outgunned: Argentine Berlocq was swatted aside by the world No 3

Outgunned: Argentine Berlocq was swatted aside by the world No 3

In the tenth game the two players swapped accusations that they were deliberately stalling, umpire Steve Ulrich taking Murray’s side. Playing very conservatively he was broken, but broke back in the next game and gave a huge ‘C’mon!’ and fist pump in Berlocq’s face at the net.

The tiebreak was a tense affair, settled at 6-4 when a scrambling Murray sent up a high lob and the Argentinian blasted an overhead long.

By now the 25 year-old Scot was getting very frustrated with Berlocq’s grunt/growl, as offensive as anything you hear in the women’s game. He complained early in the second set to Ulrich, saying it was ‘outrageous.’

Murray, whose forehand never fired and whose serve was more tentative than usual, could not hold on to an early break as Berlocq continued to hit out with massive, heavily spun groundstrokes.

Finally he got ahead with a backhand lob to break for 4-3, and from there just about managed to serve it out, although not before he had to save another break point at 5-3.

No, it was not pretty, but it got the job done.

Andy Murray beats Paul-Henri Mathieu at Paris Masters

Murray cruises past home star Mathieu on return to action at Paris Masters

PUBLISHED:

20:25 GMT, 31 October 2012

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UPDATED:

20:51 GMT, 31 October 2012

Andy Murray showed no sign of the back injury that has troubled him recently as he advanced past Paul-Henri Mathieu at the BNP Paribas Open in Paris.

Murray returned to the court for the first time since he cited a back problem as the reason for pulling out on the eve of last week's event in Basle.

The US Open champion moved freely in his second-round match as he was at times made to sweat before eventually overpowering his 30-year-old French rival 7-5 6-3 in one hour 33 minutes.

Ready: Murray

He's back: Murray on court…

Serving: Murray

… serving to the ball to Mathieu…

Focused: Murray

… and looking focused in Paris

Mathieu, a wildcard entrant, pushed
Murray throughout the opening set, but succumbed thereafter before
conceding the match with a double fault.

'I felt okay. I served pretty well,
but I struggled a bit on the return especially at the beginning of the
match,' Murray told Sky Sports 2.

'It's hard to say (how long it will
take to return to full match sharpness). I've been playing very well in
practice and felt confident today, but when the match started it's
different conditions.

Backhand: Murray returns the ball to France's Paul Henri Mathieu at the Paris Masters

Backhand: Murray returns the ball to France's Paul Henri Mathieu at the Paris Masters

'I struggled with my timing. I've never played my best tennis at this tournament, but I'd like to change that.

'You'd hope after three or four matches you are starting to play better.'

Murray will next meet qualifier Jerzy
Janowicz, who he beat in the Davis Cup a couple of years ago, after the
Pole upset 13th seed Marin Cilic.

Looking up: Murray is now the favourite for the prestigious Paris title after Novak Djokovic was beaten

Looking up: Murray is now the favourite for the prestigious Paris title after Novak Djokovic was beaten

That will come as a relief to Murray
who was solid rather than spectacular in his first match since losing
the final in Shanghai to Novak Djokovic at the start of the month.

He was forced to battle in a competitive opening set that lasted just shy of an hour.

The Scot was frustrated in the opening
exchanges as Mathieu looked the more comfortable in reaching 5-5. But
with the set on the line Murray found an extra gear at the right time.

Brushed aside: Frenchman Mathieu was out of his depth against the US Open and Olympic champion

Brushed aside: Frenchman Mathieu was out of his depth against the US Open and Olympic champion

After breaking Mathieu to love to make
it 6-5, he was still made to sweat for the set as the Frenchman grabbed
a couple of break-back points.

Murray coolly averted the danger,
however, firing down and ace before Mathieu bunted a second serve long,
to allow the world number three to close the set out soon afterwards.

After keeping pace with Murray for the
best part of an hour Mathieu started to lose his way as he was
immediately broken in the second set.

Eye on the ball: The British No 1 cruised to victory in straight sets on Wednesday night

Eye on the ball: The British No 1 cruised to victory in straight sets on Wednesday night

Murray's passing shot was initially
called long but, after asking for a replay, he was handed the opening
game before a second break made it 4-1.

Mathieu briefly threatened a comeback when he pulled back a break but Murray stepped it up again to go through.

Andy Murray: Tennis must get tough on drugs

Murray: It's time tennis got tough on drugs… we must be tested more out of competition

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UPDATED:

22:57 GMT, 29 October 2012

Just along the Seine from where the Tour de France finishes, Andy Murray called for tennis to step up its efforts to ensure it does not suffer from the same drugs-related scourge that has blighted cycling.

The world No 3, preparing for his final fortnight of the season with this week’s BNP Paribas Paris Masters at Bercy, particularly wants to see an increase in the unannounced testing of players in their off-season.

In the country where the Lance Armstrong affair reverberates more than any other, Murray actually welcomed having a random blood test at his hotel last Saturday night, and would like more players to have those ‘surprises’ when they disappear for winter training blocks.

Nice trim, Andy! Murray, sporting a new haircut, spoke at Palais Omnisports de Paris Bercy on Monday

Nice trim, Andy! Murray, sporting a new haircut, spoke at Palais Omnisports de Paris Bercy on Monday

He joined a growing number of professionals who want to see more done in a sport which, while still involving a huge amount of skill, places an increasing premium on strength and endurance.

‘The out-of-competition stuff could probably get better,’ he said. ‘When we’re in December, when people are training and setting their bases, it would be good to do more around that time.’

Earlier in his career Murray was outspoken about the intrusion of testers arriving at his home at 6am to take samples, but admitted that the Lance Armstrong affair has changed his perspective.

‘On Saturday night it was completely random and that’s good because we’re not used to doing many blood tests.

‘I’ve probably had four or five blood tests this year, but a lot more urine, so it’s obviously completely necessary when you hear things like about Armstrong. It’s a shame for their sport but how they managed to get away with it was incredible, for so long.

‘The one thing I would say with a sport like cycling is it’s purely physical, there’s very little skill involved in the Tour de France. It is the power, how many watts you’re producing, whereas with tennis you can’t learn the skill by taking a drug.

Hard line: The Scot has urged tennis to get tough with drug cheats

Hard line: The Scot has urged tennis to get tough with drug cheats and called for more testing of players

‘I think tennis at the top level has been pretty clean compared to most sports. But that isn’t to say more can’t be done to make 100 per cent sure there are no issues.’

Even before Andre Agassi revealed in his autobiography that a positive test for crystal meth had been covered up by the sport’s authorities there was the suspicion that tennis has been less vigilant than it could be about rooting out any abuse.

For example, published records show that in 2010 Murray himself did not have a single out-of- competition test for either blood or urine from the International Tennis Federation.

The most recent high-profile case involved American Wayne Odesnik, who that same year was caught not by the sport’s testers but customs officials at Melbourne airport with vials of human growth hormone in his luggage.

His two-year ban was subsequently truncated to barely six months due to the player’s unspecified ‘co-operation’ with authorities on related matters, something that appalled Murray and many of his fellow professionals.

Favourites: Novak Djokovic (left) and Murray are at the BNP Paribas Masters

Favourites: Novak Djokovic (left) and Murray are at the top seeds at the BNP Paribas Masters this week

‘The thing that bugged me with it is that if we’re going through the testing process, which can at times be frustrating even if it is necessary, don’t just let them back into the sport 18 months earlier than when they should be,’ said the 25-year-old Scot.

‘We’re going through all of this and they’re being too lenient with guys travelling with human growth hormone to other countries, it’s ridiculous.’

Murray’s punishing off-season camp in Miami is not far off, but before then he has a frenetic fortnight in which to finish off what has been a breakthrough year, with his first two appearances in Europe since winning the US Open.

Next week he plays the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at London’s O2 Arena for the top eight-ranked performers of 2012 — two spots are still open with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Janko Tipsarevic the best placed to qualify.

Those will be decided at this last Masters event of the season, which Murray kicks off with a match against either Paul-Henri Mathieu or little-known Spaniard Roberto Bautista-Agut.

Roger Federer has withdrawn to rest before London, meaning that Murray and new world No 1-elect Novak Djokovic are top seeds.

Maria Sharapova, Angelique Kerber and elite women in glamorous photoshoot in Turkey

Here come the girls! Sharapova, Serena, Kvitova and Co bring the glamour to WTA event in Turkey

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UPDATED:

10:08 GMT, 22 October 2012

We're used to seeing them dressed in sportswear and drenched in sweat after battling their way through two or three gruelling sets of tennis, but the top-ranked ladies on the WTA Tour show they can really dazzle off-court.

The elite women players have gathered in Istanbul for TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships and took centre stage at the glitzy launch party ahead of the start of the action which begins on Tuesday.

World No 1 Maru Sharapova was joined by Serena Williams, Li Na, Angelique Kerber, Petra Kvitova, Victoria Azarenka, Agnieszka Radwanska and Sara Errani at the event's draw ceremony in Istanbul.

Smile! From left to right: Li Na, Angelique Kerber, Petra Kvitova, Victoria Azarenka, Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams, Agnieszka Radwanska and Sara Errani

Smile! (From left to right) Li Na, Angelique Kerber, Petra Kvitova,
Victoria Azarenka, Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams, Agnieszka Radwanska
and Sara Errani

There was time for pictures as the girls had their make-up done and then they posed for the photographers as they made their grand entrance in front of the world's press.

The ladies have been split into two groups for qualifying with the best making it through to battle it out in the semi-finals then final to land the prestigious title.

Williams returns to the event with the Wimbledon and US Open titles, plus the Olympic gold medal to her name, yet has no chance of finishing the year as the No 1 in the world.

Williams has not played since beating top-ranked Victoria Azarenka in the final of the US Open in September and her sparse schedule is one of the reasons she won't have a chance of overtaking the Belarusian despite dominating the major events in the second half of the year.

Say cheese! The girls pose for photos before the event - then take shots of each other (below)

Say cheese! The girls pose for photos before the event – then take shots of each other (below)

Say cheese! The girls pose for photos before the event - then take shots of each other (below)

Azarenka needs only two wins in the
elite, eight-player WTA Championships in Istanbul to end 2012 as No 1.
Williams and Azarenka have been drawn into the same round-robin group when play starts on Tuesday.

'I don't really care who I play, when
I play, as long as I can play,' Williams said. 'I'm really happy to be
here. I'm on the Red side with Victoria, it'll be good.'

Angelique Kerber of Germany and Li Na of China complete the Red Group.

French Open champion and
second-ranked Maria Sharapova of Russia headlines the White Group, with
former Wimbledon champion and last year's winner in Istanbul, Petra
Kvitova of the Czech Republic, Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland and Sara
Errani of Italy completing the bracket.

Since losing to Williams in the US
Open final, the last of the four Grand Slams of the year, Azarenka has
won 13 straight matches and has held the No 1 ranking for 34 weeks.

Room with a view: Sharapova and Serena (below) pose for the cameras before the

Room with a view: Sharapova and Serena (below) pose for the cameras before the event in Istanbul

Room with a view: Sharapova and Serena (below) pose for the cameras before the

The Belarusian won the Australian Open in January and five more titles this year.

'Every match here is tough. I
obviously have great champions in the group. It's tough no matter what.
It's challenging, definitely, but I'm looking forward to it,' said
Azarenka, who lost last year's Istanbul final to Kvitova.

Williams has played a curtailed schedule because of injuries and illness but she holds a 10-1 career record against Azarenka.

The American is ranked No 3 in the world, but she holds a 9-1 record this year against the other seven finalists in Istanbul.

Williams has only twice finished the
year as No 1 – in 2002 and 2009. She has played in the season finale
six times and won twice, in 2001 and 2009, her final appearance at the
event.

Hair we go: Sara Errani is attended to while Marion Bartoli smiles for the camera ahead of the event in turkey

Hair we go: Sara Errani is attended to while Marion Bartoli smiles for the camera ahead of the event in turkey

Final touches: Radwanska has her makeup applied at the Oriflame Style Suite before the draw ceremony

Final touches: Radwanska has her make-up applied at the Oriflame Style Suite before the draw

Her record this year is 53-4, with
her only losses coming to Ekaterina Makarova in the fourth round of the
Australian Open, to Caroline Wozniacki in the quarterfinals in Miami, to
Virginie Razzano in the first round of the French Open and to Kerber in
the quarterfinals in Cincinnati.

Sharapova briefly held the No 1 ranking after winning the French Open.

'When you're coming to the
Championships you pretty much know what you're going to get in terms of
the level of the group,' the Russian said.

'With the field we have this year, I
think every match no matter what group you're in is going to be pretty
tough from the get go.'

Centre of attention: The tennis stars line up for the cameras before being interviewed at the draw ceremony

Centre of attention: The tennis stars line up for the cameras before being interviewed at the draw ceremony (below)

Centre of attention: The tennis stars line up for the cameras before being interviewed at the draw ceremony

Andy Murray suffers second defeat at Indian Wells

Double disappointment! Murray suffers second defeat at Indian Wells

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UPDATED:

06:37 GMT, 14 March 2012

Andy Murray bowed out of the BNP
Paribas Open in Indian Wells for the second time as he and brother Jamie
lost to second seeds Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor despite having led by
a set and a break.

The Murrays took the first set on a tie-break, then used that momentum to establish a 2-0 lead in the second.

Oh Wells: Andy Murray and brother Jamie Murray went out in second round

Oh Wells: Andy Murray and brother Jamie Murray went out in second round

But Mirnyi and Nestor battled back to take the set to a tie-break, which they won, before going on to claim a 6-7 (5/7) 7-6 (7/5) 10-5 victory.

Andy Murray lost to world number 92 Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in his opening match in the singles draw.

Court out: Murrays lost to Daniel Nestor and Max Mirnyi

Court out: Murrays lost to Daniel Nestor and Max Mirnyi

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer win in Indian Wells

Nadal and Federer make serene progress in Indian Wells after Murray's shock exit

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UPDATED:

07:12 GMT, 12 March 2012

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer enjoyed straightforward victories at the ATP & WTA BNP Paribas Open on Sunday but Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova suffered a surprise early exit in Indian Wells.

Nadal, making his first appearance since losing to world No 1 Novak Djokovic in an epic Australian Open final in January, showed no signs of rust in winning his second-round clash 6-1 6-3 against Leonardo Mayer in 75 minutes.

The second-seeded Spaniard got off to a strong start and never looked threatened in claiming the opener and, although Argentinian Mayer put up more of a fight in the second set, he lacked the tools to genuinely test the 10-time grand slam champion.

No problems: Rafael Nadal eased through after beating Leonardo Mayer

No problems: Rafael Nadal eased through after beating Leonardo Mayer

'Very happy to be back in competition, that's the first thing,' Nadal said on www.bnpparibasopen.com. 'This is a tournament that I love. I really enjoy playing this tournament. Always in my career, I had good success here. I played very good matches.

'It's nice to be back playing at the very good level. Winning is the most important thing. It's not easy to be back after a while without competition, but I did really well. I started the match very focused, very aggressive. I'm very happy about almost everything.'

Next up for Nadal will be 26th seed Marcel Granollers, who beat Tommy Haas 6-3 2-6 6-3.

Third seed Federer also breezed into round three, converting five of his six break opportunities to see off the challenge of 19-year-old Ukraine-born American Denis Kudla 6-4 6-1 in 57 minutes.

'I'm always relieved and happy when I am able to find my way into a tournament,' Federer said. 'So it's a good start for me. I didn't know Kudla very much, or at all, really, so it was a good win for me.'

Easy does it: Roger Federer waves to the crowd after defeating Denis Kudla

Easy does it: Roger Federer waves to the crowd after defeating Denis Kudla

The Swiss will play Milos Raonic in round three after the 27th seed from Canada toppled Argentina's Carlos Berlocq 6-4 6-2.

Kvitova, meanwhile, looked to be heading for an equally routine victory in her women's third-round match when she won the first set against 19-year-old Christina McHale, but the American 32nd seed battled back to stun the third-seeded Czech 2-6 6-2 6-3.

McHale said: 'She started off serving really well. I couldn't get a read on her serve in the first set, and I wasn't moving very well, either.

]'And then I just hung in there early in the second, and then she played one service game where she gave me a couple of loose errors, and then I just kept hanging in there. Then I got more comfortable as the match went on.'

McHale will face 18th seed Angelique Kerber in the last 16, the German going through after Vania King withdrew with an illness which is reportedly troubling others at the event.

Shock: Petra Kvitova was beaten

Shock: Petra Kvitova was beaten

There were no such worries for Victoria Azarenka, the top seed ousting 25th seed Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-1 6-2 in exactly an hour.

The world No 1 from Belarus said: 'I knew she was going to be dangerous.

'She's a grand slam winner. I really had to step it up from my last match, and I'm glad I could perform much better than I did in that first match.'

Klara Zakopalova advanced when her opponent, ninth seed Vera Zvonareva, withdrew due to a viral illness, while fifth seed Agnieszka Radwanska overcame 27th seed Flavia Pennetta 6-4 6-2.

Also in the women's event, French Open champion Li Na beat fellow Chinese Zheng Jie 6-1 6-3, big-hitting German Julia Goerges saw off Spaniard Anabel Medina Garrigues 6-3 6-4 and Jamie Hampton battled past Jarmila Gajdosova 6-2 6-7 (1/7) 6-2.

Elsewhere in the men's event, fifth-seeded Spaniard David Ferrer cruised past Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov 6-2 6-2 and was joined in round three by sixth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who led Michael Llodra 4-1 when his fellow Frenchman retired with a knee injury.

Ninth seed Juan Martin Del Potro also eased into round three with a 7-5 6-2 defeat of Australian qualifier Marinko Matosevic, while 10th seed Janko Tipsarevic got past Luxembourg's Gilles Muller 6-4 6-2 and former world No 3 Nikolay Davydenko accounted for lucky loser Bjorn Phau 7-5 6-2.

Fernando Verdasco, seeded 19th, had few difficulties in brushing aside Ryan Sweeting 6-2 6-2 and 28th seed Radek Stepanek outclassed Xavier Malisse 6-2 6-1, but 21st seed Alexandr Dolgopolov was made to work harder before overcoming Steve Darcis 6-7 (13/15) 6-3 7-5.

Four seeds did go out in the men's draw, however, with Marcos Baghdatis toppling 15th seed Feliciano Lopez 6-3 6-4, David Nalbandian scraping past 24th seed Marin Cilic 7-6 (7/3) 7-6 (7/4), Denis Istomin edging out 31st seed Juan Ignacio Chela 7-6 (7/5) 6-7 (7/9) 7-5 and Thomaz Bellucci seeing off 20th seed Jurgen Melzer 6-3 6-3.

Andy Murray and Jamie Murray in Indian Wells second round

Murray brothers beat fellow Brits to progress to second round of Indian Wells

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UPDATED:

01:18 GMT, 12 March 2012

Andy and Jamie Murray advanced to the second round of the men's doubles at the BNP Paribas Open with a three-set triumph over Colin Fleming and Ross Hutchins in Indian Wells on Sunday.

The four Britons put on an entertaining display in a closely-contested encounter on Court Seven, the Scottish brothers eventually prevailing 3-6 6-2 13-11 on the match tie-break.

Steady progress: The Murray brothers beat their fellow Brits

Steady progress: The Murray brothers beat their fellow Brits

Andy Murray, who suffered a shock exit in the singles second round at the hands of world number 92 Guillermo Garcia-Lopez on Saturday night, sealed victory with a forehand return after Fleming and Hutchins had failed to convert two match-points.

Andy Murray loses in Indian Wells

Blow for Murray as Briton loses to Garcia-Lopez in Indian Wells

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UPDATED:

08:37 GMT, 11 March 2012

Andy Murray suffered a surprise early exit from the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells on Saturday night at the hands of world No 92 Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.

The British No 1, who received a bye in the first round of the first Masters 1000 tournament of the year, headed into his second-round clash having not lost a set in his previous two encounters with the Spaniard.

Andy Murray

Andy Murray

Bad night at the office: Murray lost in straight sets in California om Saturday night

But Garcia-Lopez produced one of the best performances of his career to stun the world No 4 6-4 6-2 to advance to a third-round meeting with American teenager Ryan Harrison.

Murray, who crashed out of the event at the same stage last year to American qualifier Donald Young, had numerous chances to break his opponent in the first set – notably from 0-40 – but could not capitalise.

Having kept his nerve to keep the match on serve, the first break finally arrived in game nine and went in Garcia-Lopez's favour, the Spaniard making the Briton pay for several sloppy forehands.

Second best: Murray lost in Indian Wells on Saturday night

Second best: Murray lost in Indian Wells on Saturday night

Garcia-Lopez closed out the first set and Murray cut a frustrated figure at the start of the second, particularly after losing his opening service game.
Murray must have sensed a turning point when he saved four break points and held serve in game three to get back to 2-1.

But, unconcerned by failing to establish a double-break cushion, the 28-year-old from La Roda continued to play positive tennis and make Murray work hard just to stay in contention, his single-handed backhand troubling the Scot throughout.

Delight: Guillermo Garcia-Lopez celebrates his victory

Delight: Guillermo Garcia-Lopez celebrates his victory

And any hopes Murray harboured of getting back into the match were well and truly extinguished in game seven when a forehand into the net saw Garcia-Lopez break serve again to go 5-2 up.

He duly closed out the match against his shellshocked opponent, setting up a third-round meeting with Harrison following the 19-year-old American's 7-6 6-3 victory over 25th-seeded Serbian Viktor Troicki.

Andy Murray targets the top three

I'm growing into the job! Mature Murray targets the top three

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UPDATED:

20:02 GMT, 9 March 2012

A little over a week after beating
Novak Djokovic at the Dubai Open, Andy Murray believes he has matured as
a player, grown up as a person and is poised to make a charge for the
top of the rankings.

'You've got to remember, I'm 24 years old,' Murray said. 'Everybody matures at different ages.'

High hopes: Andy Murray

High hopes: Andy Murray

Murray's new coach, Ivan Lendl, has helped him through the process and after sorting out the inconsistencies in the Scot's forehand, he got to work on his confidence.

On Saturday he takes on Spain's Guillermo Garcia-Lopez in his first match at the BNP Paribas Masters in Indian Wells.

Big hit: Murray has been working with coach Ivan Lendl

Big hit: Murray has been working with coach Ivan Lendl

'It's kind of calming having someone like Ivan to talk to, at certain times,' he said. 'In practice, I am hitting the ball better than I have by a mile.'

Tomas Berdych beats Gael Monfils Open Sud de France

Berdych celebrates first title in seven years with hard-fought win over Monfils

Top-seed Tomas Berdych claimed his seventh ATP Tour title with a hard-fought win over former champion Gael Monfils at the Open Sud de France in Montpellier.

Berdych took just over two hours to overcome the French third seed 6-2 4-6 6-3.

Back to winning ways: Tomas Berdych (right) beat Gael Monfils in France

Back to winning ways: Tomas Berdych (right) beat Gael Monfils in France

After a dour battle Berdych claimed the important break in the eighth game of the third set when Monfils double faulted to gift him his advantage.

The 26-year-old Czech then served out the match to claim his first indoor title since the BNP Paribas Masters in 2005.