Thursday, June 25, 2009

Day 4: Murray Marches on; Outclasses Gulbis in Straights

Andy Murray is hoping that beating Ernests Gulbis in the 2nd round of the Wimbledon Championships will do the same thing for him that it did for Rafael Nadal one year ago. 

So is the Rest of Great Britain.  

Murray left little doubt that he is serious about living up to the hype that has been surrounding him ever since the grass court season began, as he shellacked the down and out Latvian 6-2, 7-5, 6-3 in front of an enamored Centre Court crowd.  

Murray made a strong statement in the second game of the match, fighting back from 15-40 with four clutch serves to hold.  The match may have taken on a different complexion if Murray hadn't delivered the goods at that point, but the hyper-intuitive Murray, keen on sensing big moments in big matches, was up for the task from the get go.  

Murray proceeded to keep Gulbis off balance with a dazzling array of slice, defense, and angled runners - to which the discombobulated Latvian had no answer.  Other than his booming first serve, Gulbis was lacking the tools to stay in the points with Murray.  

After Murray took the first set, the two hard servers were locked in a struggle for supremacy for much of the second.  For a moment it appeared that Gulbis may crawl back into the match, but another dose of slow and slower slices finally rattled Gulbis, and he was broken on the first and only break point of the set.  

Murray served out the set, and closed the match out after earning another pair of breaks in the third.

It was a stunning display of grass court tennis for the 22-year-old Scot, and he obviously has it in his head that he is destined to be thriving on the pressure rather than succumbing to it. 

If this match is any indication, Andymonium a.k.a. Murray Mania may be alive well into the second week of the fortnight.  

Murray will face the winner of the Viktor Troicki vs. Daniel Gimeno-Traver match in the third round on Saturday. 


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