Photo: GETTY IMAGES
reached the quarter-finals of the Abierto Mexicano Telcel in Acapulco on
Wednesday night with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Joao Sousa.
The Wimbledon champion, seeded second, struggled with his first serve
throughout but won 72 per cent of points on his second serve to keep himself
in the box seat.
He converted only three of the nine break-point opportunities he mustered, but
that proved enough to see off the Portuguese No 1 in straight sets and
secured the Scot a last-eight encounter with Frenchman Gilles Simon.
Murray struggled mightily in the early stages of his first-round match against
Pablo Andujar and it was a similar story here as he found himself an
immediate break down at the start of the first set.
The 26-year-old wasted two points for an instant break back, but got on the
board in his next service game and then earned two more break points,
finally converting at the fourth attempt with a flat cross-court forehand
Murray appeared to have broken again for 4-2, but, in a bizarre incident which
saw the Scot challenge when he thought his shot had been called out – in
fact it had not – he appeared to be punished for verbal interference and the
point was given to Sousa, who went on to level at 3-3.
That seemed to spur Murray on, though, as he broke at the next opportunity and
served out to take the set.
And that trend continued at the start of the second as a slew of errors from
the Portuguese gave Murray the early breakthrough.
The set progressed on serve but Sousa was hanging in there on his own
delivery, facing deuce or break points in every game before Murray served
out in game 10, capitalising on his second match-point.
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