Tennis: Murray's self-belief grows

By Darren Walton

Scotsman says he’s shaping up well ahead of US Open quarter-final against Djokovic

Andy Murray expects another long match with Novak Djokovic. Picture / AP
Andy Murray expects another long match with Novak Djokovic. Picture / AP

Andy Murray was too smart, too respectful to say he was returning to championship-winning form ahead of his US Open quarter-final showdown with Novak Djokovic tomorrow.

But Murray was certainly pleased to set up the grand slam blockbuster with a "stress-free" straight-sets win over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

The less time on court against Tsonga, the more energy he'll have to try to bring down the indefatigable Serbian world No1.

The last time Murray and Djokovic clashed at Flushing Meadows, the Scot won the longest final in US Open history, a four-hour, 54-minute test of endurance and skill that ended Britain's infamous 76-year grand slam men's singles title drought.

Eight months earlier, Djokovic took four hours and 50 minutes to put Murray to bed in a similarly epic Australian Open semifinal in Melbourne.

"We play a fairly similar style and I think that's why a lot of the matches have been long games, long rallies, long points because we do a lot of the same things well," Murray said after nullifying Tsonga's explosive power to progress with a 7-5 7-5 6-4 win yesterday.

Murray is into his 14th consecutive grand slam quarter-final, Djokovic his 22nd in a row.

"I don't feel like I'm that far away from playing my best tennis," Murray said.

"Obviously winning matches does build confidence."

Tomorrow's other quarter-final will feature third-seeded Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka against Japanese 10th seed Kei Nishikori.

Wawrinka ousted Tommy Robredo - the Spaniard who eliminated Australian teenager Nick Kyrgios in the previous round - 7-5 4-6 7-6 6-2, while Nishikori outlasted Croatian fifth seed Milos Raonic 4-6 7-6 6-7 7-5 6-4 last night.

- NZ Herald

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