01 March 2012
Andy Murray appeared to have shaken off the early season rust that dogged his game in the early rounds of the Dubai Championships as he made his was safely past Marco Chiudnielli to take his place in the tournament’s quarter finals.
Those assessing Bookmaker Bonuses note how the British number one dispatched his Swiss opponent 6-3 6-4 in under an hour and a half to set up a showdown with Thomas Berdych, who beat Lukas Lacko to secure his place in the last eight.
Murray, the number three seed for the tournament, appeared to be moving more freely than in earlier rounds where he struggled to get going, particularly in his first round match against German qualifier Michael Berrer that marked his first appearance since losing in the final of the Australian Open last month.
The Scot, who has traditionally struggled in tournaments following the first Grand Slam of the year, admitted he was pleased to be making progress in Dubai, although only went as far as saying he played a ‘bit better’ against Chiudnielli.
"I played well throughout today," he said. "I played a little bit better, so that's progress. Now I just need to keep that going."
World number one Djokovic is still in the tournament and is a potential final opponent of Murray’s having eased past Ukraine's Sergiy Stakhovsky.
While temperatures soared in Dubai, Muuray batted away suggestions that the heat may be a defining factor in the outcome of the tournament, saying conditions in the United Arab emirates were ‘perfect’ for him.
"Conditions in Miami (where Murray has been training) are hotter than this," he said. "I find the conditions here almost perfect. I'd been practising my serve quite a lot there and I think that went well today."
Even those over at Poker Genius note how Murray came close to ending his pursuit of his first ever Grand Slam title as he made his second consecutive appearance in the Australian Open final last month, only to miss out to Djokovic.
The 24-year-old recently appointed former Grand Slam winner Ivan Lendl as his full time coach in a bid to end his pursuit for a major title, although with the French Open the next Grand Slam tournament he may struggle to break that duck with Rafa Nadal expected to return from injury to defend the titles he has won at Roland Garros in the last two years.
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