• ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament

Murray sees off spirited Thiem to book Cilic tie

ESPN staff
February 13, 2014
Andy Murray won the match with arguably the rally of the match © Getty Images

Andy Murray continued his comeback from back surgery with a hard-fought 6-4 3-6 6-3 victory over Dominic Thiem at the ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam.

In a match which contained several moments of quality, wildcard Murray impressed to take a tight opening set before the Austrian hit back with a flurry of impressive rallies to stun the Brit and level the tie.

Murray was not fazed with the match entering a third set and soon found the all-important break, before completing the win in two hours 21 minutes. The Brit won the tie with arguably the best rally of the match; after exchanging several powerful base-line efforts, Murray floated one to the back of the court before lobbing his opponent's return.

Thiem managed to reach it but again Murray sent his man wide; Thiem's return went long and Murray punched the air to celebrate reaching the quarter-final, where he will now face Marin Cilic.

"It was very tough, he came out with some big, big shots," Murray said in his post-match interview. "I didn't capitalise on my chances in the beginning of the second and that made it very difficult."

"It was unbelievably tough with a lot of long games. Maybe fun for the fans, but not [for me] to play against a talent like Dominic Thiem. We'll be hearing a lot from him."

Earlier on Thursday, Juan Martin del Potro overcame a sore wrist and a second set tie-break to beat Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-2 7-6(2) and book his spot in the quarter-final.

"I know it's not getting worse, that's why I'm still playing," Del Potro told atpworldtour.com. "It's normal to feel something on the wrist after 20 days without playing tennis and I'm playing here with more intensity and two matches in a row.

"My doctor is confident with my wrist … and he is watching me on TV. He's expecting a quick recovery … If the doctor says it's safe to keep playing I will keep playing all the tournaments and work hard to play well with my forehand and serve."

Del Potro will now play Ernests Gulbis for a place in the last four after the Latvian saw off eighth seed Grigor Dimitrov 6-4 7-6(3) in just under one-and-a-half hours on court.

Third seed Tomas Berdych came through his second round clash with Nicolas Mahut 6-4 6-3, but there were upsets elsewhere as Philipp Kohlschreiber toppled fourth seed Richard Gasquet 7-5 7-5 and Jerzy Janowicz beat six seed Tommy Haas 6-4 6-4. Berdych will now face Janowicz in the quarter-final.

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