Cincinnati: Murray d. Querrey

Wednesday, August 15, 2012 /by

MurrayRRDefending champion Andy Murray blew past Sam Querrey in just 75 minutes at the Western & Southern Open today, ending the American’s hopes 6-2, 6-4.

Querrey looked good in his opening service game, but spent the rest of the match being thoroughly outclassed by the world No. 4. He had spoken before the match about his intention to attack Murray’s second serve but signally failed to do so despite having plenty of opportunities: Murray was serving at 54 percent and had a few games where he barely made a single first serve, but still won 75 percent of points behind his second serve. After saving a break point at 1-1 in the first set, the American wild card took the opening point on Murray’s serve by going back behind him up the line with his backhand. Then he saw two soft second serves, putting the return into the net on the first and failing to do much with the second beyond getting it into the court.  Murray held after another missed second serve return, then went on the attack as Querrey served at 2-2. Three times Querrey came into the net behind good approach shots, and three times Murray stung him with testing passing shots or low balls to the approaching American’s ankles. Flustered, Querrey got a short ball on break point, then put the forehand into the net.

Murray took the lead for 3-2, then took the double break on his second opportunity after an invigorating backhand opened up the court for a forehand winner, serving the set out to 15 in a game that included two aces. Querrey double-faulted to give up the break at the beginning of the second and looked thoroughly bewildered about what to do with the ball: Murray’s returning and variety kept him off-balance so that he couldn’t dictate from inside the baseline, and when he attempted to do just that, Murray’s defense frustrated him until he couldn’t finish off points he should have won. Querrey did pick himself up as the second set progressed, saving two break points to keep it to a single break then earning two break points with Murray serving at 4-3 after he finally landed a couple of good aggressive returns on second serve. He saw second serves on both break points, too, but failed to take advantage of either, putting soft returns in the court and undermining any chance of dictating the rally. Murray held for 3-5 and then served out the match to 15 as Querrey put another wild backhand long.

Murray should be pleased with a solid performance, and hopefully will be more pleased that the knee problem which forced him to withdraw from Toronto didn’t seem to bother him today. He will face mercurial Jeremy Chardy in the third round. Querrey, meanwhile, who has done well to get his ranking up to 29 after serious injury problems, has to deal with the fact that he faced a top player on a poor serving day and still didn’t get anywhere near taking a set.

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