Murray Passes Dolgopolov Test at Australian Open

Australian Open Tennis 2011Andy Murray dropped his first set of the 2011 Australian Open but successfully negotiated his way through to the semi finals with a 7-5 6-3 6-7 (3-7) 6-3 victory over world number 46 Alexandr Dolgopolov.

Murray looked in complete control of the match when he was two sets and a break up before the Ukrainian came  storming back to win the third. The comeback was short lived as Murray then dominated the 4th set to avoid a 5th set decider.

Dolgopolov had beaten world number 4 and 4th seed Robin Soderling in the previous round, and the Ukrainians unorthodox style of spin and differing pace presented some challenges to the Murray game and the 22 year old managed to win 5 games of the Scot in the first set, something that no player had yet managed at this years event.

It was not enough to take the first set as the more experienced Murray eventually coming through to win the set. There was enough signs in that first set that Murray was not in for an easy ride, but the Scot seemed to take a strangled hold on the match as he secured the second set and achieved an early break in the third.

With the crowd sensing the match was over, Dolgopolov seemed to find a new energy, he subsequently broke back and forced the set into a tie breaker. Murray’s fairly poor tie break record continued as the Scot lost it 7-3.

A younger Murray may have needed longer to recover from losing that 3rd set, but today he showed major composure as he raced into a 4-0 in the 4th set winning almost every point. He did manage to lose one is breaks back to Dolgopolov, but the set was soon over and Murray made his way into the semi finals.

After the match, Murray gave his views,

It was very tough, Every point against him is different, he hits the ball differently to everyone else, it’s tough to explain. I struggled with my rhythm early on and he came back in the third set but I thought I did well enough. I had to go for my shots a little bit more in the fourth set, I was a little bit tense in the tie-breaker and served a double-fault and missed a couple of easy forehands. I got off to a good start (in the fourth set) and that settled me down, but it was a very tough match and a very tough one to get my rhythm in.

Murray will now face David Ferrer in the semi finals on Friday after he knocked fellow Spaniard and world number 1 Rafael Nadal in the quarter finals.

Murray Dolgopolov Preview

Andy Murray will resume his quest for his maiden grand slam title in his quarter final match tomorrow against Australian Open debutant Alexandr Dolgopolov.

The match will take place in the Rod Laver Arena and will be the third match played after two ladies quarter finals, which will probably give a start time around 3pm local time (that’s about 4am UK time!).

This will be Dolgopolov first ever grand slam quarter final, his previous best grand slam performance was making the 3rd round of last years French Open. That was the 22 year olds first taste of a grand slam and since then has reached the second round of Wimbledon and posted a first round loss at the US Open.

The pair have met once before in a Davis cup match back in 2006, both players were still teenagers and although Murray won that encounter, it’s very doubtful it will have in bearing on tomorrows match.

The bookmakers have Murray as overwhelming favorite, but Dolgopolov may just surprise them, the way he surprised 4th seed Robin Soderling in the last round.

Player Andy Murray Alexandr Dolgopolov
Traditional Odds Decimal Odds Traditional Odds Decimal Odds
Betfair 13/100 1.13 38/5 8.6
Sky Bet 11/100 1.11 11/2 6.5
Victor Chandler 11/100 1.11 11/2 6.5
Blue Sq 11/100 1.11 5/1 6
Coral 11/100 1.11 5/1 6
Stan James 1/10 1.1 6/1 7
William Hill 1/10 1.1 11/2 6.5
Bet 365 2/25 1.08 13/2 7.5
betfred 2/25 1.08 6/1 7
Sporting Bet 2/25 1.08 6/1 7
Paddy Power 2/25 1.08 13/2 7.5

On the other side of the court, this will be Andy Murray’s 7th career grand slam quarter final. He reached his first at Wimbledon 2008 where he lost to Rafael Nadal, since then was 4 and lost a further 1 at the French Open in 2009. His opponents experience tomorrow is vastly different to that of quarter final opponent last year, where Murray faced and beat Rafael Nadal at this stage.