Andy Murray is safely through to the next round in Beijing. The Brit who began this week at 501 in the world is up to provisional 286 following impressive wins over Matteo Berrettini and Cam Norrie.
It looked like being a case of Deja vu having come through against Berrettini 7-6 7-6 and leading Cam Norrie on Wednesday by 7-6 and at 6-6 would go to another tie-breaker.
A couple of errors from Murray gave Norrie the initiative who took a 3-0, 4-2 and then 6-4 lead before going on to take us to a third and final set.
We needed 2 hours and 23 minutes in the opening two sets to try and prize these two apart but it was a runaway third of 29 minutes going the way of the former world number one who went onto seal a win and a spot in the quarter finals.
It was a very good match and another test for Murray who physically does look tired which you’d expect. When you consider his two matches in Zhuhai and two matches so far in Beijing he has spent around 10 hours on court.
You could look back and think, well it could have been easier with Murray creating plenty of break points but failing to take until the third set.
The third set was a slight mixture of Andy taking it too Norrie and Norrie unwinding at the back of the court.
From the first match against Berrettini to this one against Norrie you can see the improvement.
Throughout the match and especially in set three he hit the backhand cleaner and explored with more top-spin on the forehand. Quick points were the key for Murray in the final set which was what he needed to put him in a good spot for Friday where he will likely play the top seed Dominic Thiem.
Good stats from Murray today;
Winners – 39 (17 FH, 16 BH)
Unforced Errors – 31 (17 FH, 12BH
2 double faults
25/38 net points won
71% first serve won
68% second serve won
The only thing you could be picky about it first serves in which was 59% from Murray compared to 69% of Norrie.
Murray did a good job of mixing it up and Norrie did take a while to get to grips with it. Norrie won 24% of return points in set one and double that to 48% in set two before the third set collapse.
A day off beckons though for Andy Murray. It is likely he will play Dominic Thiem in the quarter finals who won’t have a day off who for some reason is playing doubles too…
Bit of news a few courts away as Murray was finishing off his win, Neal Skupski and Jamie Murray defeated the top seeds Cabal and Farah 6-4 6-2 in the mens doubles.