Andy Murray admits he was “fortunate” to come through his quarterfinal clash with Albert Ramos-Vinolas at the Barcelona Open after the Spaniard squandered a golden opportunity to defeat the world number one in consecutive weeks.
The world number 19 sent the Brit packing at the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters last week despite facing a 4-0 deficit in set three and had the chance to serve out the match for a place in the semifinal on Friday.
But the 29-year-old broke to 15 before cruising through the deciding set tie-break to triumph, 2-6, 6-4, 7-6(4), in a little under three hours.
Fortunate to prevail
A relieved Murray believes the match was on his opponent’s racket but he praised his own mental strength when the chips were down.
He said: “It was obviously a very tough match.
“It was kind of the opposite of the match we had last week, where probably today he deserved to win, he created a lot more chances, he served for the match and couldn't quite get it.
“Last week I had 4-0, I felt like I had all of the chances and sometimes on clay matches happen this way so I'm very happy to get through.
“I started coming to the net more and volleying, I felt like I started to dictate more of the points and that was a big difference.”
Ups and downs
Unlike last week, Murray began the contest uncharacteristically slowly, struggling to land a first serve and being broken twice in quick succession.
However, he broke at the crucial juncture in set two and his forays to the net were proving more productive in the all-important third set.
He quickly ran out to a 4-0 buffer in the tie-break before closing it out in typical fashion.