Andy Murray slipped, fell and slided his way through to the quarter finals of the Artois Championships at Queens Club. Despite a brief rain delay, falling over several times, picking up three sepearte injuries and needing the trainer on court on two separate occasions Murray was able to recover from a set down to win 5-7, 6-1, 6-4 against Latvian teenager Ernests Gulbis.
After just 4 games both players has spent more time on the floor than standing with at least one player slipping on nearly every point and in some points both were on the floor. The slips were largely down a slippery surface, but both players were trying to use to their advantage by playing several drop shots, which was adding to the number of tumbles.
At 2-1 to Murray the umbrella’s went up as a very light drizzle began to fall, the did play another game, before Murray crashed into the net after slip, at which point a temporary delay was called. It lasted less than half an hour and the players were back out quickly.
In the opening set Murray looked passive and the game was passing him by, it wasn’t surprise when in the 11th game at 5-5 after another slip in which Murray looked to have hurt his thumb, a freak point won by Gulbis were Murray was hut by a ball that was at least going 6 foot long and some sloppy serving, Gulbis managed his first break points. He missed out on the first one, but a double fault gifted him the game on his second break point. Murray then received his first of injury timeouts, for the his thumb. He returned the court and being unable to break back he lost the set 7-5.
Murray upped his game in the second and we seen a completely different Murray railroad Gulbis to win the set 6-1 with two breaks of serve.
At the start of the third set Murray crashed to floor again and let out an almighty scream, there were worried looks all round with Murray still lying on the floor, he made it back his seat and his second medical timeout called. Murray returned to the match after receiving treatment form both trainer and doctor to both his thigh and shoulder.
The third set was played at a much higher level, with both players producing some good tennis. It was in the 9nth game though when Murray really sparked into life. He managed to win 2 break points to lead 15-40 on the Latvian serve. Gulbis saved the first with a service winner and the second looked to have been saved with Gulbis at the net he hit a volley that looked beyond Murray, though somehow Murray manged to stretch enough to not just reach the shot, but return it for a winner and break for the third time in the match. Murray went on to hold serve and finish off the match.
After the match the young Scot had this to say,
That’s the first time I’ve been on a tennis court and been more worried about getting through the match uninjured, It was so slippy out there and even when it’s only a little bit of rain I’m sliding two metres after every shot, and changing direction is so hard as well, so I was just really glad to come through in the end.
Andy Murray will now face Andy Roddick in the quarter finals tommorrow.