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Sunday, June 28, 2009

Superb Murray wastes no time in win

Photo Titled Troicki dive
Viktor Troicki reaches for a volley during his third round defeat by Britain's Andy Murray.

Andy Murray's Wimbledon bandwagon gathered massive momentum as he cruised into the last 16 by crushing Serbia's Viktor Troicki 6-2 6-3 6-4 in 96 minutes.

Just as he did in his second round victory over Ernests Gulbis, Murray established immediate ascendancy over the 23-year-old Troicki and rapidly stepped that up to crushing superiority.

Troicki, who had suffered two embarrassing defeats previously at the hands of Murray, made his Centre Court debut clearly with the intention of blasting the Scot off the court where he has so far been so comfortable. If the Serb's first serve failed, the second one was also an attempt at a blaster.

It was a tactic which brought inevitable double faults, two of which led to a service break which put Murray 4-2 ahead in the first set.

Murray cannily also refused to offer Troicki any pace off which he could feed, which further confused the Serb. This, combined with Murray's superior court craft, made for a one-sided match which was only extended by Murray's occasional, and understandable, inclination to indulge in a spot of showboating to offer the Centre Court their money's worth.

The danger here was that the hovering clouds might unleash the contents before the job was complete, forcing the closing of the roof with its inevitable long delay. It was a close-run thing as Trocki fought back bravely in the third set but, as the ground staff gathered at courtside Murray finished the job in brilliantly professional style.

Having gone one set up in 27 minutes, Murray cleaned up the second one in exactly half an hour. At times Troicki glanced towards the skies. Whether he was looking for heavenly assistance or the intervention of the weather was unclear - perhaps it was both.

But on this evening there was nothing that could save him from a hammering. The harder he tried the more errors he made and when he attempted to match Murray for subtlety he was even more outclassed.
Murray went 5-2 ahead in the second set by delivering three successive aces, followed by a delicate drop shot and closed out the set with his 12th ace.

But he saved his greatest moments for the sixth game of the final set. Leading 3-2, Murray started with an inch-perfect drop shot, followed it with an ace, then executed an unbelievable cross-court winner with his back to the net and won perhaps the most glorious game he had ever played with a cross-court forehand.

You could have forgiven Troicki if he had burst into tears at the frustration of opposing this sort of stuff.
After that, the end was not long in coming as Murray wrapped it up with another brace of aces, 17 in all.

Next up for Murray on Monday is Stanislas Wawrinka, the 19th seed. Between now and then, expect all the talk, hype and expectation about Britain gaining their first Wimbledon men's champion since Fred Perry 73 years ago to reach new levels.

Centre Court - Gentlemen's Singles - 3rd Round
Andy Murray GBR (3)Winner666
Viktor Troicki SRB (30)234

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