News

Andy Murray grinds into U.S. Open quarters

Andy Murray grinds into U.S. Open quarters

Andy Murray, of Britain, reacts after winning the third set against Denis Istomin, of Uzbekistan, during the fourth round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013, in New York. Photo: Associated Press/Charles Krupa

By Simon Evans

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Defending champion Andy Murray ground his way past Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin with a 6-7(5) 6-1 6-4 6-4 victory on Tuesday to reach the quarter-finals of the U.S. Open where he will face Switzerland’s Stanislas Wawrinka.

Murray’s consistency in the top tournaments is such that he has now reached the quarter-finals in each of his last 10 grand slam tournaments.

But Istomin, ranked 65th in the world, pushed Murray hard and the Wimbledon champion was glad to have made it through without a major scare.

“I was just very happy to get it done because he had chances at the end of the third set to get ahead,” Murray told reporters.

“But I’m in the quarter-finals of a slam. That is not an easy thing to do and the matches are going to get tougher. I’ll have to up my game,” he said.

The Briton struggled to get out of the blocks in the first set and trailed 5-3 after two forehand errors handed Istomin the break in surprisingly cool and slightly gusty conditions.

Although Murray immediately broke back, he lost out in the tiebreak, with a double fault and a slice into the net allowing Istomin to serve out the set.

Istomin, decked out in luminous orange with similarly garish yellow-rimmed glasses, proved to be a determined opponent.

After leveling the match, Murray displayed some clear signs of frustration in the third set but finally took control by breaking Istomin in a marathon seventh game after the enterprising Uzbek had saved three break points.

TRICKY

There was never any doubt about who would win from then and the Scot wrapped up the match in a little over three hours.

Murray said the weather and wind in Arthur Ashe Stadium had been a factor in his slow start to the night match.

“It was extremely cold on the court, very windy. Often when you sort of heat up and then in between sets or if you have quite a long break, you cool down pretty quickly,” he said.

“It was very, very different conditions to the last few days where it’s been very humid and you have been sweating a lot,” he said.

Istomin’s decision to play the ball between his legs on three occasions, once when he had a perfectly playable shot, may have pleased the crowd but raised some eyebrows and surprised his opponent.

“I think it was 5-4 in the first set when he had a pretty easy shot. I personally wouldn’t try something like that at that stage, but he did, and yeah, it was a bit surprising,” he said.

Wawrinka, who beat Tomas Berdych on Tuesday, is up next for Murray and he knows he is in for a test.

“He has improved quite a lot this year, he has less weaknesses and is more experienced.

“He has a very good backhand, serves well, he’s solid at the net and makes a lot of returns. He makes it tricky for you.

“He is a top player and it will be a very tough match for me,” he said.

Recent Headlines

in Local

Police Hunt for 3 Suspects After Lake County Sheriffs Deputy Killed

Fresh
FOX LAKE AP

Police in northern Illinois say a manhunt is underway after an officer was shot and killed while pursuing a group of suspicious men.

in Local

Judge: Illinois Not in Contempt

Fresh
illinois flag

A federal judge has cited Illinois' efforts in recent days to make court-ordered payments to social-service providers in deciding not to hold the state in contempt.

in Local

St. Clair Co. May Sue to Get State Money

Law Talk

St. Clair County may sue the state of Illinois to try to get millions in state funding that's not being distributed because of the budget impasse.

in Local

Illinois Crops Could Use Some Help

crops

Mother Nature has the last word, says the USDA's crop statistician in Illinois.

in Local

Rauner, Unions Reach Labor Deals

Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidate businessman Bruce Rauner participates in a Republican gubernatorial candidate debate Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, in Springfield, Ill. The four Republican gubernatorial candidates said that they’ll be willing to work with unions if elected but differed on how to approach the relationship during a downstate debate that largely focused on pension reform, taxes and just briefly on personal issues that have dogged some of the candidates.

The Rauner administration says it has reached tentative or final agreements on new labor contracts with several Teamsters Union units