x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Banged up Andy Murray searches for that extra gear to get going

The Scot admits to being 'nervous' against Marcos Baghdatis, and with more bangs and bruises after several tumbles to the court resulting in a balky knee he is once again has a fitness worry.

Andy Murray took a beating on Centre Court from the venue itself. A balky knee is the result.
Andy Murray took a beating on Centre Court from the venue itself. A balky knee is the result.


LONDON // Andy Murray enjoyed a well-earned day of rest Sunday while he pondered how to raise his game for the challenges facing him in the second week of Wimbledon.

The Scot battled his way past the dangerous Marcos Baghdatis late on Saturday, edging to a 7-5, 3-6, 7-5, 6-1 victory in three hours and 13 minutes just in time for the 11pm deadline imposed on matches for health and safety reasons.

It was the latest-ever finish at the All England Club.

And while the victory kept alive his hopes of finally winning a Grand Slam title at the age of 25, Murray said he was aware he has to find another gear if he wants to keep winning this week.

"I was just kind of hustling my way through the match and I am going to need to play better, if I want to go deep into the tournament" said Murray, who will face Marin Cilic, the 16th seed, on Monday.

Their match is scheduled second up on Court One.

Cilic, a 23-year-old Croatian, made it through by defeating Sam Querrey 7-6 (8-6), 6-4, 6-7 (7-2), 6-7 (7-3), 17-15 in what was the second longest match in Wimbledon history.

Murray leads their head-to-head rivalry 5-1 with the only win for Cilic coming in the last 16 at the 2009 US Open.

The Scot avenged that loss the following year when he beat Cilic to reach his first Australian Open final.

"It will be important for me to try to get off to a good start," Murray said. "If you are feeling a little bit tired and you go behind, it can be tough to come back."

Against Baghdatis, Murray said, he knew to expect a tough match.

"I was very nervous," he said.

"I was really struggling. Even in the first couple of sets I was creating lots of chances, but I was not feeling that comfortable on the court."

There were concerns also over Murray's fitness as he took several painful-looking tumbles in a Centre Court match that saw the sliding roof closed at the start of the third set.

Murray returned to the court after the break while the roof was closed, with his knee strapped up, fuelling the concerns about his fitness.

"My knee was a little bit sore," he told the BBC.

"I took a tumble towards the end of the second set, I slipped and my foot went from underneath me, and when I cooled down a little bit, when we had the break with the roof, it was a little bit stiff. I had the physio work on it and put some tape on it, and it was OK.

"I was struggling quite a bit with my footing early on. I changed shoes as well during the break and that helped."

Oddly, Murray also had problems with his shorts, suffering a two-point penalty because the ball fell out of his pocket during play.

"It's happened before but not like that; it happened like five times in all," he said. "I'm blaming the shorts though, it wasn't my fault.

"It was annoying and it lost me two points, so I need to make sure I have no problems with that during the next few rounds."


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