Murray survives early scare to see off 'Baby Fed' in straight sets and reach last eight
21:41 GMT, 25 March 2013
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
In the shade: Kim Sears watches on as partner Murray sees off Dimitrov in straight sets
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
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
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