- ATP Tour
Smash-and-grab Murray set for rapid turnaround
Andy Murray will head straight back into action on Wednesday at the BNP Paribas Open, after booking his place in the fourth round with a smash-and-grab victory over Yen-Hsun Lu of Taiwan.
Murray, who has never won the title in Indian Wells, was on the back foot for the majority of the first set against Lu - the world No. 79. However, he countered at the right times and proved himself a player of big points in a far-from-comfortable 6-3 6-2 victory.
The British No. 1 had history with Lu, who beat him in the first round of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. The Taiwan player's style is full of invention, intent, and when he's on fire it can be difficult to stop.
Murray was forced to play fire-fighter throughout the first set, saving five break points in his opening four service games. He then countered to snatch a break when Lu missed his target with two drop shots, but still the first set was not over.
Two more break chances needed to be rescued by Murray before he could gratefully wrap up a one-set advantage, and it did much to highlight what separates a player of his calibre from an individual like Lu: Murray makes it count when it matters.
It was the same story in the second, Lu looking dangerous as the scores progressed to 3-2, but then one game littered with errors handed Murray the break. It was the tipping point, with the Brit easing through after another penetration of serve to advance to the fourth round.
"He started off strongly and I didn't serve particularly well to get myself into those break point situations, and then I needed to serve better to get myself out of some tough moments," Murray said.
"He takes the ball extremely early. He has very quick feet, too, so he gets to the ball quickly. He can kind of leave you flat footed sometimes, and he certainly did that a lot in the first set."
Murray now faces world No. 85 Carlos Berlocq, who knocked out Kei Nishikori. Berlocq was aided by a stomach problem for his rival and, even though he and Murray have never met, the Brit is confident.
"When I was coming up playing Challenger level tournaments he was quite often there too," he said. "I've never actually played him but I've watched him and I know his style."
Victory would move Murray a step closer to a potential meeting with Novak Djokovic, whom he can meet in the semi-finals.