My main man, world number 4 Andy Murray hasn’t had much luck the last couple of years in Miami, since winning the tournament in 2009 Murray has failed to win a set, let alone a match at the Sony Ericsson open in Key Biscayne, with defeats to Mardy Fish in 2010 and Russian veteran Alex Bogomolov, Jr in 2011. Andy’s been having a ball in Miami this year, after his shock defeat in Indian Wells, he set off for Miami for early preparations with his coach Ivan Lendl and the work seems to have paid off! While Murray hasn’t really been tested yet, its been good to see him progress and not fall at the first hurdle as he has so done the last 2 years. Andy wiped out Alejandro Falla in round 2 after being byed through the first round, his promising match up with Milos Raonic wasn’t meant to be as the Canadian withdrew from their 3rd round clash with a right ankle injury, which meant Andy had reached a 4th round encounter with Gilles Simon.
The first game of the match, with Murray serving, was what I expected from two natural counter punchers, both playing differently paced balls and trying to force an error. The opening game lasted 17 minutes, with 7 deuces and 3 thrilling break points, but Murray’s defensive capabilities were too much for Simon and he held serve. The Frenchman was able to keep his first service game short, but not as short as Murray’s next service game, Andy used the 1-2 punch effectively against Simon, stepping in and taking the ball early to stop Simon’s incredible defensive techniques having any use, which led him to break the Frenchman’s serve. The remainder of the set went with serve, Murray came out to serve for it, earning 3 set points, he hit a second serve ace up the Tee to seal the first set.
Simon was unable to make any impact on the Murray serve throughout the second set, so he did his best to hold serve. The Frenchman held from 0-40 to lead 3-2 but was broken to 15 on his next service game. Simon couldn’t cope with some sensational shot making from the British number 1, including a so very precise forehand lob landing on the outer edge of the baseline. Andy very quickly earned 3 match points and finished up with an ace. The Brit plays 9th seed Janko Tipsarevic in the Quarters, with Andy leading their head to head 4-3, The world number 3’s performance today was a reassuring one and he should be extremely positive with his chances of repeating his 2009 success in Miami.