- ATP Tour
Murray grits teeth to beat Carlos Berlocq
Andy Murray set up a BNP Paribas Open quarter-final with Juan Martin Del Potro thanks to a 7-6(4) 6-4 win over Carlos Berlocq.
It was not vintage stuff from the world No. 3, who became agitated and frustrated with the grunting of Berlocq. The Argentine took advantage by twice breaking in the first set. Murray forced it into a breaker and made Berlocq rue his missed opportunities.
Murray's famed defensive skills were in evidence in the breaker, with his brilliant retrieving drawing a mistake to force set point and another sealing it when Berlock sent a smash long.
Murray roared ahead in the second only to surrender the break of serve he worked. But he broke again in the seventh game thanks to a clever lob. An ace staved off a break point in the following game and it was the last chance for Berlocq as Murray went on to wrap up victory.
"It was tough," Murray said. "He started well and he was playing very aggressive. He had a lot of chances in the first set. He obviously served for it.
"The second set was kind of the other way around. I had a lot of chances, but it was still tight. All the games were pretty close, a lot of long games and longish rallies."
A stern test awaits Murray in the last eight, as Del Potro looked good in swatting aside Tommy Haas 6-1 6-2. The 24-year-old, who won in Rotterdam last month, broke on five occasions in his facile victory.