A MURRAY (GB) beat F SANTORO (FRA)
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Well just to wrap things up for you, Murray is through to the quarter-finals to play Richard Gasquet or James Blake. He definitely has to win that contest to have a hope of getting into the end-of-season finale in Shanghai. He is fighting with those guys, plus the likes of Tommy Robredo, Tommy Haas and Mikhail Youzhny for the last two places available.
"Murray is the best male tennis player we've had since Perry, infinitely better than Henman. He's on the brink of Masters qualification having missed almost half the season. If not for that he'd be top four by now."
douglasmcdouglas on 606
"If this match doesn't show dominance, I don't know what does..."
Stevie, Glasgow by text.
Murray 6-2 Santoro
I have not seen Murray play this well. He hits every shot in the first rally deep to the Santoro forehand, and wins it. From 30-0, a gorgeous drop shot backhand gives him three match points. He wins with an easy put-away from the net.
Murray 5-2 Santoro
Hoping for an easy game for once, Santoro moves to 40-0. But one of his best serves is easily dealt with and a big forehand down the line from Murray makes it 40-30. Santoro does win the following point, though, to retain his interest in the tournament.
Murray 5-1 Santoro
Murray is having no trouble at all with the long rallies. He moves to 40-15 on serve with a brilliant shot at the end of a long exchange which Santoro had just about dominated. His serving remains a wekaness, but it doesn't matter as he comes out on top after another long rally featuring masses of spin.
"Isn't your Anon contributor forgetting just how far Murray has come to challenge the top 10? Plus just look at Nadal and the number of slogfests he plays in. Finally, how wonderful to see the lad Murray scrap for his life. Unlike Tim, 'bye bye in the quarters' Henman."
Marc, Liverpool by text.
Murray 4-1 Santoro
Will it be 5-0? No, now that's just greedy. Santoro holds his serve for the first time in a while. He has stopped the rot for now, and British fans will hope he has not started an epic comeback.
Murray 4-0 Santoro
As brilliantly as Murray is playing, Santoro has pretty much thrown in the towel. One of his returns would have looked feeble in the over-55s ladies doubles events my mum plays in in Oxfordshire.
Murray 3-0 Santoro
That game was won in the space of about a minute, by the returner! Santoro's double-fault brings up three break-points and Murray pounces with a wonderful crosscourt backhand - it's a shot that's brought him a huge amount of joy today.
Murray 2-0 Santoro
Santoro is having to try all sorts of things, such a drop-shot return - which fails, by the way - and Murray wins his serve to 15. Essentially, he is beating Santoro at his own game very successfully, outfoxing the 'Magician'.
Murray 1-0 Santoro
Murray is playing his best tennis of the match now, and reduces his opponent to 15-40. Santoro stays in the game by winning the next point, but attempts a brave crosscourt volley with the next and Murray has broken him again.
Murray 6-4 Santoro
At 30-all, Murray's serve is coming under pressure again, but he gets a first serve in wide to Santoro's forehand and wins the point with a smash. He nets a forehand from mid-court on set point, however, and is brilliantly worked all around the court by Santoro, who wins a break-point. A rather attractive line judge calls a vital Santoro groundstroke wide - and she is brutally whistled by the home supporters. Replays show she was right and Murray recovers to win the set.
"AM seems 2 have 2 battle through every match, often coming from behind. When is he going 2 show the dominance that the top 10 show?"
Anon, by text
Murray 5-4 Santoro
It's the Frenchman's turn to move to 40-0 up on serve, but the fickle Parisians in the audience appear to be pondering an aperitif or two. They've gone all quiet. Any road, Santoro wins the game to 15 and stays alive in this set.
Murray 5-3 Santoro
For the third time in the set, Murray moves 40-0 up on serve, but for the first time closes the game out with the next point as a big serve down the middle is netted by Santoro. The Frenchman was really made to run around in that game.
Murray 4-3 Santoro
Murray is the chameleon of the men's tour - adapting his game to counter the specific threats of each opponent he faces. The trickery and spin of Santoro is met in equal kind by his much younger opponent in this game, who senses an opportunity at 0-30. A stunning backhand down the line makes it 0-40, and he hits another backhand pass, this time a cross-court version, to win the game and go a break up again.
Murray 3-3 Santoro
Murray moves effortlessly to 40-0, but the tenacious Santoro gets a point back and two big Murray forehands borne of frustration collide with the net. It's another irritating deuce, but Murray bombs down two aces.
"Has anyone noticed how much AM's volleys have improved ? I wonder what was the ratio of volley points won in yesterday's match?"
gracefulTennis on 606
Murray 2-3 Santoro
Santoro has only one reached the quarter-finals of this event on his home soil, but he's beginning to look well equipped to do so again, conceding just one point on this service game. Mum smiles with approval on the sidelines.
Murray 2-2 Santoro
A couple of Murray errors bring up deuce and a double-fault creates break-point. That's a bit depressing. A languid smash - if there is such a thing - saves it, but Santoro wins another by outlasting his opponent in a very long rally. Murray gets a strong first serve in to save that one but is then lobbed with consummate ease. Finally, a Santoro backhand volley levels the set.
Murray 2-1 Santoro
Santoro's little legs, one of which carries heavy strapping, are forced around the court as Murray begins to show off his all-court game. A missed lob by Santoro, a strong return from Murray and a confident volley give the Briton a break-point but a second serve into his body is too good. He earns another break-point, though, with some wickedly sliced backhands - and a backhand pass gives Murray the game - yippee! It shuts up the home crowd too.
Murray 1-1 Santoro
Murray moves sweetly to 40-0 up before hitting a tame backhand into the net, and he then dumps a backhand volley and misses a simple forehand to bring up deuce. A really crisp volley gives him the ad point, however, and a long rally also ends in Murray's favour.
Murray 0-1 Santoro
Murray cannot capitalise on a couple of week second serves as Santoro moves to 30-0 up. The Scot wins just one point in the game and must now hold his own serve.
1146: Santoro, the oldest winner on tour this season, is serving first.
1141: Murray is dressed far more soberly, in the blue top that brought him success in St Petersburg. He has never met Santoro, who is 14 years Murray's senior. The Frenchman could retire soon so this might be their one and only meeting.
1137: Murray's entry is greeted by some funky action from the man controlling the floodlights and there's some typically dodgy French music blaring out. Santoro is wearing a noisy T-shirt with pink, green, yellow and violet stripes - and a heavy gold chain is visible around his neck.
1130: Just before we leave the Davydenko match completely, and concentrate on Murray, there's been a flutter of controversy again concerning the Russian - who has been spoken to by the umpire about his effort against Baghdatis. A very touchy subject this...
"Can't believe the umpire just had a chat with Davydenko about effort. He's clearly trying hard he's just got the Dementievas on his serve..."
jazzyjezza14 on 606
The background to this is as follows: Davydenko was fined for not trying hard enough last week in St Petersburg and is being investigated by the ATP over a match in August that featured irregular betting patterns.
1125: Well, well, well. After third seed Novak Djokovic was sent packing on Wednesday, Nikolay Davydenko, seeded four, has just been handed his marching orders by Marcos Baghdatis, 6-2 6-2.
But there's no point Murray worrying about all that for now. His mission today is to conquer Fabrice Santoro, the veteran French doubles specialist born in Tahiti.
Is he in form? You bet he is. He was the man to put out Djokovic in the previous round, 6-3 6-2 if you please. Murray himself beat Jarkko Nieminen 7-6 6-3 and his battle to try to scrape one of the final places for the Shanghai tournament resumes in earnest with this match.
If Murray wins he then faces Richard Gasquet or James Blake in the quarter-finals. And they are both in the hunt for Shanghai as well.
To qualify for the Masters Cup, players must finish this tournament in the top eight of the ATP Race, and Murray is currently 11th.