Andy Murray drops set before beating Istomin to join last eight
Wind makes conditions difficult at Flushing Meadows for US Open defending champion
DEFENDING champion Andy Murray is through to the last eight of the US Open, and for once the Scot admitted it had been a breeze. Not because yesterday's opponent, Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan, was a walkover – far from it - but because the New York weather played a big part in making it a difficult match.
"It was definitely tough," said Murray, this year's number three seed. "It was pretty breezy out there, the wind was quite strong and both of us struggled with our timing early on. When it's breezy like that you can have some entertaining points."
The strength of the wind disrupted Murray's rhythm early on and he allowed the conditions to play on his mind. Finding fault with some of the line calls, Murray lost the first set on a tie-break but he then pulled himself together to win the next three sets 6-1 6-4 6-4.
"After losing the first set, I started trying to dictate the points, especially when the wind was with me, and use my forehand more," he explained later. "I had the chance to win the first set so it was just about minor adjustments."
The victory took a little over three hours and the reward for the 26-year-old Scot is a quarter-final encounter with ninth seed Stanislas Wawrinka after the Swiss upset fifth seed Tomas Berdych over four sets. "Wawrinka will be very tough," said Murray. "He has played great tennis the whole year, is ranked eight or nine and will be higher after this. He's very talented. We played once before on this court when we were much younger and a lot has changed since then."
If Murray beats Wawrinka on Wednesday night he will probably face Serbia's Novak Djokovic. The number one seed was in ominous form earlier in the day against Marcel Granollers, demolishing the Spaniard 6-3 6-0 6-0 in just 79 minutes. "It took me a while to get used to the conditions but after that I played flawless tennis," said Djokovic, who has dropped just 22 games this tournament. "This is great encouragement in front of the next challenge."
Also safely through to the last eight is number two seed Rafa Nadal, who'll play compatriot Tommy Robredo, slayer of Roger Federer on Monday. ·