News

Andy Murray grinds into U.S. Open quarters

Andy Murray grinds into U.S. Open quarters

Andy Murray, of Britain, reacts after winning the third set against Denis Istomin, of Uzbekistan, during the fourth round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013, in New York. Photo: Associated Press/Charles Krupa

By Simon Evans

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Defending champion Andy Murray ground his way past Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin with a 6-7(5) 6-1 6-4 6-4 victory on Tuesday to reach the quarter-finals of the U.S. Open where he will face Switzerland’s Stanislas Wawrinka.

Murray’s consistency in the top tournaments is such that he has now reached the quarter-finals in each of his last 10 grand slam tournaments.

But Istomin, ranked 65th in the world, pushed Murray hard and the Wimbledon champion was glad to have made it through without a major scare.

“I was just very happy to get it done because he had chances at the end of the third set to get ahead,” Murray told reporters.

“But I’m in the quarter-finals of a slam. That is not an easy thing to do and the matches are going to get tougher. I’ll have to up my game,” he said.

The Briton struggled to get out of the blocks in the first set and trailed 5-3 after two forehand errors handed Istomin the break in surprisingly cool and slightly gusty conditions.

Although Murray immediately broke back, he lost out in the tiebreak, with a double fault and a slice into the net allowing Istomin to serve out the set.

Istomin, decked out in luminous orange with similarly garish yellow-rimmed glasses, proved to be a determined opponent.

After leveling the match, Murray displayed some clear signs of frustration in the third set but finally took control by breaking Istomin in a marathon seventh game after the enterprising Uzbek had saved three break points.

TRICKY

There was never any doubt about who would win from then and the Scot wrapped up the match in a little over three hours.

Murray said the weather and wind in Arthur Ashe Stadium had been a factor in his slow start to the night match.

“It was extremely cold on the court, very windy. Often when you sort of heat up and then in between sets or if you have quite a long break, you cool down pretty quickly,” he said.

“It was very, very different conditions to the last few days where it’s been very humid and you have been sweating a lot,” he said.

Istomin’s decision to play the ball between his legs on three occasions, once when he had a perfectly playable shot, may have pleased the crowd but raised some eyebrows and surprised his opponent.

“I think it was 5-4 in the first set when he had a pretty easy shot. I personally wouldn’t try something like that at that stage, but he did, and yeah, it was a bit surprising,” he said.

Wawrinka, who beat Tomas Berdych on Tuesday, is up next for Murray and he knows he is in for a test.

“He has improved quite a lot this year, he has less weaknesses and is more experienced.

“He has a very good backhand, serves well, he’s solid at the net and makes a lot of returns. He makes it tricky for you.

“He is a top player and it will be a very tough match for me,” he said.

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

This weekend in entertainment history

rainman

A look back on some of Hollywood's most memorable headlines.

in National

Amanda Knox murder conviction overturned

FILE - In this Jan. 31, 2014, file photo, Amanda Knox prepares to leave the set following a television interview in New York. Knox is engaged to Colin Sutherland, a musician who recently moved to Seattle from New York, a person close to the Knox family confirmed for The Associated Press. Knox’s murder conviction in the 2007 stabbing of her roommate has been reinstated by an Italian court, but the former college exchange student maintains her innocence and vows she won’t willingly go back to Italy. Both Knox and Sutherland are 27. No wedding date had been set.

Italy's highest court has overturned the murder conviction against Amanda Knox, bringing to a definitive end the high-profile case.

in National

Time for Iran to make tough decisions in nuclear talks

In this March 26, 2015, photo, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, center, leaves a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and other U.S. officials at a hotel in Lausanne, Switzerland. U.S. and Iranian diplomats gather at a Baroque palace in Europe, a historic nuclear agreement within reach. Over Iraq’s deserts, their militaries fight a common foe. Leaders in Washington and Tehran, capitals once a million miles from each other in ideological terms, wrestle for the first time in decades with the notion of a rapprochement.

Six world powers and Iran move closer to a deal, but there are still major disagreements.

in Sports

This week’s top sports shots

AP564917773040_12

A look at some of the biggest plays and best photos in sports this week.

in Local

Marciella Diaz has been sentenced to 80 years in prison

gavel

Marciella Diaz has been sentenced to 80 years in prison for her role in the killing of 15-year old Jasmine Guevara in 2009