Australian Open 2017 | Murray and Evans book fourth round berths

 

By Ros Satar, in Melbourne

  • Andy Murray [1] def. Sam Querrey 6-4 6-2 6-4
  • Faces Mischa Zverev in the fourth round
  • Dan Evans def. Bernard Tomic 7-5 7-6(2) 7-6(3)
  • Will face Jo-Wilfried Tsonga [12] in the fourth round
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – Andy Murray coasted into the fourth round of the Australian Open, and was joined by Dan Evans.

 

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Andy Murray [1] def. Sam Querrey 6-4 6-2 6-4

World No. 1 Andy Murray will have moved into prime favourite to lift the trophy in a week and a half’s time, and the manner in which he eased past Sam Querrey set down a marker.

In the first set it took maybe a couple of games to settle into a rhythm before breaking the American and in the second set everything seemed to be coming together nicely. He main concern for all had been his ankle and whether or not he would have felt any after-effects of that awkward tumble.

He told reporters: “It was sore yesterday and a little bit stiff this morning. But it feels good. After the first few games, where I was maybe slightly hesitant, I moved really well towards the end of the first set, and second and third set.”

He continued: “I think I played a little bit better each match. There’s not been one thing I’ve been delighted with. I thought I moved much better today than I did in the first two matches, which is really positive for me. Each match I think I’ve improved a little bit. That’s a good sign. Hopefully I keep getting better.”

 

Murray v Mischa Zverev – H2H: Murray leads 1-0

In actual fact Murray beat Mischa Zverev in the US Open junior championship and he spoke warmly of the times they spent as juniors, and had it not been for the bouts of injury, we wonder what path the older Zverev would have followed.

His reaction after his five set win over John Isner perhaps describes it best: “I felt like tears were coming. It was the first time ever third round in Australia. The last time I played third round anywhere in the slam was Wimbledon in 2008. It’s been a long time. I couldn’t believe it.

“I’ve never actually won a best-of-five match if I haven’t won the first two sets. So being down two sets to love is a whole ‘nother story, especially against John Isner. Match point down, break down in the fourth.

“I was so happy that tears were coming. I was looking at my box. I couldn’t believe it. Really, that was the moment you train for, you live for as a tennis player.”

The effect could go one of two ways. The adrenalin from winning such a battle could render him flat, or he could be full of confidence and swinging free. Murray is aware of the German’s game and it is probably a match up that suits him well.

Murray said: “He played well end of last year. Obviously has had a good run here. His match against Isner was really tight. I saw a little bit of that one the other day. He’s doing well. He plays a very different game style to most of the guys now. He’s serve-volleying, coming forward as much as possible, not with the most powerful game.

“He doesn’t serve, like, 220 kilometers an hour. He serves 185s, 190s, but places it well. People say you can’t play that way any more and be successful, but he’s done that the last few months.”

Murray handled him pretty efficiently last year on clay, and with the way he is improving match on match in terms of temperament, we have to feel this could be another clinical display.

Prediction: Murray in three sets.

 

Dan Evans def. Bernard Tomic 7-5 7-6(2) 7-6(3)

In a pretty even match up, there were glimpses of the talent that Dan Evans possesses. With Tomic now the highest seeded Aussie hope, he was often left looking positively pedestrian by the Brummie.

There were still times here and there, where Evans allowed his frustrations and distractions get the better of him, earning a rebuke and later a code violation for audible obscenities after a spectator was coughing while he was about to serve. And maybe more worryingly towards the end of that third set he looked to be cramping.

Tomic put up a flurry of resistance in the second set, but it was not enough to suffer another Slam loss to the player his father once dismissed as not being good enough to act as a hitting partner.

 

Evans v Jo-Wilfried Tsonga [12] – First Meeting

The British No. 3 should well hope to be playing a key role in the forthcoming Davis Cup tie in Canada, straight after the Australian Open, given his heroics thus far. He sets up a first time clash with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

In fact almost by contrast to Evans, Tsonga has been battles from the start of the tournament, dropping a set to Thiago Monteiro in his opening round and again in his third round with Jack Sock.

Evans will need to be sharp on his returns against the Tsonga serve with the big man liking to come forward. Evans had some devastating cuts at the net and hopefully what looked like the onset of cramps will not hamper his movement, which will be key.

However, Tsonga may just have a little too much game for the Brit.

Prediction: Tsonga in four set.

 

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