ATP London: Andy Murray knocks off compatriot on home soil

After battling through his opening round match at the Aegon Championships, Andy Murray faced a different sort of test in the form of compatriot Aljaz Bedene. While he still had some struggles, the top seed was able to get out of the match in straight sets 6-3, 6-4 to advance to the quarterfinals.

Late Break Enough for Murray

The top seed was in trouble in the opening game, falling behind 30-40 before Bedene hit a forehand into the net. Murray would go on to hold for a 1-0 lead. The top seed responded by pushing his opponent to deuce in the following game but was unable to reach break point. Murray seemed to be bothered by his shoulder in the early stages, but the problem seemed to go away as the match progressed.

Murray lunges for a backhand during his second round win. Photo: Ben Hoskins/Getty Images
Murray lunges for a backhand during his second round win. Photo: Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

After a tight first two games, both men settled in on serve, holding comfortably until 4-3, when a missed drop shot from behind the baseline from Bedene gave Murray double break point. The world number 58 saved the first with an ace but drove a forehand long on the second to give Murray a chance to serve out the set. The Scot took full advantage, racing ahead 40-0 and converting his second set point with an ace to seal the opening set.

Murray Wears Down Bedene

Murray wasted no time in attempting to establish control of the second set by racing ahead 0-40 on Bedene’s serve in the first game of the second set. The British number two saved the first three, and another at 40-AD, before holding. Murray would keep the pressure on to reach break point again in the next game, and this time only needed one as Bedene put a forehand into the net to give Murray an early break lead.

Bedene (left) and Murray shake hands after the match. Photo: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
Bedene (left) and Murray shake hands after the match. Photo: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

The world number 58 bounced right back and immediately reclaimed the break in the following game when Murray netted a backhand at 30-40. But the Slovenian-born Brit could not get control of his own serve, being forced to save another break point before holding in the fifth game. Another break point followed in Bedene’s next service game and this time, Murray converted with a forehand winner for a 4-3 lead. There would be no break back this time, as the top seed held to love to move to within a game of victory. Serving for the match at 5-4, he would hold to 30 to advance to the quarterfinals.

By the Numbers

Murray was dominant on his first serve, only dropping four points in the entire match when it was in. Bedene actually finished with more winners than his opponent, 25 to 24, while they both hit 16 unforced errors. Murray’s net tactics proved effective, as the top seed won 13 of 17 points at the net. At the end of the day, Bedene did not create enough chances on his opponent’s serve, only holding two break points, compared to nine for Murray.

Murray will face another Brit in the quarterfinals. This time, it will be Kyle Edmund, who advanced after Paul-Henri Mathieu withdrew. 

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