Wimbledon 2015

Murray hits heights

Andy Murray's ability to get the last ball in frequently makes it difficult for his opponents to find a way past the Scot.
Andy Murray's ability to get the last ball in frequently makes it difficult for his opponents to find a way past the Scot.PHOTO: REUTERS

After 1st rd struggles, 2013 champ finds top gear in superb rout of Dutchman Haase

LONDON • Andy Murray, in the form of his life, put a blip in the first round behind him at Wimbledon yesterday to thrash Dutchman Robin Haase 6-1, 6-1, 6-4.

It was a breathtaking exhibition of focused skill and invention from the third seed, to which his opponent, the world No. 78, had hardly any answer .

After struggling briefly to find his rhythm in beating Mikhail Kukushkin on Tuesday, Murray began like a purring Rolls Royce on Court 1 on day four and finished with controlled ease.

It was a miserable performance by Haase, who took a set off Murray in each of their two encounters at the US Open, most recently last year, but was woefully out of his depth here.

  • RESULTS

  • 2nd rd (selected)

    Men: James Ward (Gbr) bt Jiri Vesely (Cze) 6-2 7-6 (7-4) 3-6 6-3, Roberto Bautista (Esp) bt Benoit Paire (Fra) 2-6 4-6 6-3 6-3 6-3, Samuel Groth (Aus) bt James Duckworth (Aus) 7-5 6-4 7-6 (8-6).

    Women: Sabine Lisicki (Ger) bt Christina McHale (USA) 2-6 7-5 6-1, Timea Bacsinszky (Sui) bt Silvia Soler Espinosa (Esp) 6-2 6-1, Olga Govortsova (Blr) bt Alize Cornet (Fra) 7-6 (8-6) 2-6 6-1, Garbine Muguruza (Esp) bt Mirjana Lucic-Baroni (Cro) 6-3 4-6 6-2, Angelique Kerber (Ger) bt Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (Rus) 7-5 6-2.

The difference between good and great players is not just talent, but also focus and patience.

For all that Haase is a fine strokemaker and moves with lovely balance and judgment across the grass, he finds the strain of doing it rally after rally as exacting as anyone who comes up against Murray, whose ability to get the last ball in is extraordinary.

Murray was delighted at the end, and said courtside: "There are still nerves, which is good. I give more attention to every single point that way. I was very happy with the way that I played."

Murray will face either veteran Italian Andreas Seppi or highly-regarded 18-year-old Croatian Borna Coric in the third round.

Seven-time champion Roger Federer reached the third round with a 6-4, 6-2, 6-2 win over Sam Querrey of the United States.

The second seed will face Australia's Sam Groth for a place in the last 16.

The women's top 10 list lost its fourth seeded player of the week when Russian eighth seed Ekaterina Makarova, who was a quarter-finalist last year, went down 2-6, 5-7 to unseeded Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia.

World No. 65 Rybarikova had previously never won a match at Wimbledon in seven years.

Makarova joined third seed Simona Halep, seventh seed Ana Ivanovic and Carla Suarez Navarro, seeded ninth, in failing to get beyond the second round.

Rybarikova goes on to face Belarus qualifier Olga Govortsova, who put out French 25th seed Alize Cornet 7-6 (8-6), 2-6, 6-1.

Former world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki made it through to the third round with a 6-1, 7-6 (8-6) triumph over Denisa Allertova, the world No. 83 who is from the Czech Republic.

The Dane, who has never got beyond the last 16 at Wimbledon, next takes on Italian 31st seed Camila Giorgi.

THE GUARDIAN, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 03, 2015, with the headline 'Murray hits heights'. Print Edition | Subscribe