MUR­RAY MAKES IT FAST AND FU­RI­OUS

World No 1 in ruth­less de­mo­li­tion of Gar­cia-Lopez

New Straits Times - - Sport -

ANDY Mur­ray said he was get­ting closer to his bril­liant best as the top seed ham­mered Guillermo Gar­cia-Lopez 6-2, 6-0 to surge into the quar­ter-fi­nals of the Dubai Cham­pi­onships on Wed­nes­day.

The World No 1’s rapid vic­tory lined up a meet­ing with Philipp Kohlschreiber af­ter the Ger­man beat Rus­sian Daniil Medvedev 64, 6-4.

“It was very tough at the start, we both had chances in those early games,” the Scot Mur­ray, who has never won the Dubai show­piece, said.

“I played very well. I served bet­ter to­day than in the pre­vi­ous round.

“I’m cer­tainly play­ing bet­ter than I did at the start of the year. Every­thing worked well tonight.

“I moved well and played of­fen­sive. I was fo­cused through­out. I didn’t give any cheap points away.”

Mur­ray and sec­ond-round vic­tim Gar­cia-Lopez had not faced off since 2012, with the Spa­niard win­ning their last meet­ing at In­dian

Wells.

But there was never a hint of a re­peat.

Af­ter the first four games last­ing half an hour, the pace picked with Mur­ray win­ning the first set.

He tight­ened his grip, los­ing just one point on his serve in the sec­ond set on his way to a dom­i­nant vic­tory.

Gael Mon­fils held off Bri­tain’s hard-charg­ing Dan Evans with a gutsy 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 vic­tory.

The French­man, one of the most colour­ful show­men in tennis, is play­ing in the Emi­rate for only the sec­ond time in his ca­reer af­ter a first-round loss in 2008.

The World No 12 moved into a clash with Spain’s Fer­nando Ver­dasco, who needed al­most two and a half hours to over­come Span­ish sixth seed Roberto Bautista Agut 6-4, 3-6, 7-5.

“Ver­dasco is a very tough player with a huge fore­hand,” Mon­fils said.

“I’ll have to run a lot.”

The fourth seed was mo­tor­ing against the 43rd-ranked Evans, a fi­nal­ist at the start of the sea­son in Syd­ney, up a set and a break.

But the Briton lifted his game and rose to the oc­ca­sion as he be­gan a fight­back to take the match level at a set each.

Mon­fils stepped up a gear in the de­ci­sive third set.

“It was a great match,” he said.

“In the sec­ond set he started re­ally go­ing for his shots.

“I had to try and con­trol him, I fi­nally found a way to win.”

French sev­enth seed Lu­cas Pouille joined Mon­fils in the quar­ters, de­feat­ing Mar­ius Copil 6-1, 6-4.

Andy Mur­ray re­turns the ball to Guillermo Gar­cia-Lopez dur­ing their Dubai Cham­pi­onships match on Wed­nes­day.

AFP

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