Monte Carlo Masters
A MURRAY (GB) bt N Davydenko (Rus)
7-6 (7-1) 6-4
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"It's been a long couple of days but I'm very happy to come through it.
"I've got two blisters and they're getting bigger so I'll have to do something about it tonight. Hopefully it wont be too much of a problem.
"It's a great experience from playing the top players and I'm happy to beat a guy like Davydenko."
A solid, largely defensive display from Murray sees him come through. Both players were clearly, and understandably, tired which clearly affected the pace of the match. However, once again we are given evidence of Murray's resilience against a strong, talented opponent. He'll have to dig even deeper though for his semi-final encounter with world number one Rafael Nadal. Please join us tomorrow for what should be a cracking match and get involved on the texts and 606. In fact, call us, call us by our name or call us by our number...
Murray 6 - 4 Davydenko
After demonstrating such a good touch earlier Davydenko seems heavy-handed now. He drops into the net to give Murray a 30-0 lead but resorts to power to claw back a point. Murray though takes himself to two match points: the first he hits long, the second Davydenko smashes home. Murray is initially outraged when the next point is called out from a deep Davydenko shot but it is actually awarded to the Scot. The next shot Davydenko hits long and Murray is through to the semi-final, his first on clay.
Murray 5- 4 Davydenko
Murray produces a superb passing shot to take a 30-0 lead after forcing a volley from Davydenko. However, the Russian claws a point back with an overhead smash but loses the next. Unfortunately for Murray at two game points he finds the net and then Davydenko hits a superb backhand drive down the line to bring it back to deuce. After a cracking rally Davydenko, at game point himself now, attempts a drop shot but hits only net. The next point goes the Scots way as well before Davydenko finds net again to cap a sensational turnaround in this set. That's four straight games for Murray and he's serving for the match.
Murray 4 - 4 Davydenko
This time at 30-30 it's Davydenko's turn to scream in frustration. Murray feeds off this and levels things up with aplomb. The Russian is closing in on 50 unforced errors now.
I can only apologise for the use of "pints" as opposed to "points" so often during this commentary. Obviously my subconcious is trying to tell me something after a long day at work!
Murray 3 - 4 Davydenko
Murray is signalling to his bench that he is struggling to grip the racket due to blisters on his palm, which he examines after practically every point. The Russian takes a 40-15 lead but Murray pulls it back to deuce and then takes advantage after a poor shot hit long. Murray turns generosity from Davydenko into incentive from himself and he comes to the net to fire a forehand winner and break back. That's what being forceful can do.
"Just looking through the tennis masks available to download on the BBC tennis website. Maybe Murray could do with the Henman one right now to scare off his opponent because it sure scared me."
stuart18bsc on 606
In that case maybe Tim should have worn a Tim mask for some of those Wimbledon semi-finals!?
Murray 2 - 4 Davydenko
Murray is hanging in there. He takes a service game but not without a few dropped points into the net. He's going to have to do something more forceful here if he's to get back on level terms.
Murray 1 - 4 Davydenko
Davydenko shows the first visible signs of his exhausting schedule today as he stretches his calf. However, his tennis isn't suffering too much in this second set. He is hitting hard and giving Murray little chance with deep, accurate shots. A testimony to this could be that Murray is now on his third racket of the match. The game goes Davydenko's way after he shows his athleticism to return a powerful drive from Murray before the Scot fires wide.
"Murray needs to dictate more points here like on grass be the dictator of the point not wait for an error or a short ball"
singhsta2006 on 606
Murray 1 - 3 Davydenko
"Focus!" screams Murray as he loses the first point. "Move!" he screams as he loses the second with a shot into the net. Fortunately, Davydenko gives Murray a reprieve from chastising himself by hitting the next two points long. However, it's not long before the Scot is screaming again as Davydenko fires across court and beyond Murray. Game to the Russian.
Murray 1 - 2 Davydenko
After such a poor game it is typical of Murray to dig in and fight back. However, after Murray takes the first two points Davydenko firstly pushed Murray into an error that draw further curses form the Scot and then drops one short to bring himself level. However, Murray responds again and takes the game. It was vital that he did.
Murray 0 - 2 Davydenko
Davydenko comes out fighting again and fires himself into a 40-0 lead by pressurising Murray at every opportunity from his serve. The Russian seals the game as Murray hits long. Murray looked very vulnerable in that game and paid for some very loose shots.
"Murray just doesn't seem to possess the fire-power capable to blowing any of the top clay-court specialists off the court."
xenosys2005 on 606
Murray 0 - 1 Davydenko
More subtlety from the Russian at 15-15 as he produces another little drop-shot that leaves Murray floundering. He then shows the other side of his game firing a shot past the onrushing Murray down the line for 40-15. He closes the game with ease.
It's a real battle so far. Murray hasn't done anything spectacular yet but he's showing bags of determination and gutsiness. What has Davydenko got left after his game earlier?
Murray 7 - 6 Davydenko
Murray mini-breaks to take a 2-1 lead in the tie-break as Davydenko hits long. The Russian then fires a forehand wide and there's a tiny bit of daylight between them. This grows as Davydenko hits net in the next three points to put Murray within touching distance of a one-set lead... which he takes as Davydenko hits wide to seal a 7-1 tie-break win for the Scot.
Murray 6 - 6 Davydenko
Murray does indeed produce something special to take a 30-15 lead, slamming a forehand back across Davydenko and past his outstretched racket. The Russian then goes long to give Murray two points for the set. He rescues the first one with a big backhand after unbalancing Murray and then the Scot goes long to bring it to deuce. He then lobs a lame shot wide and greets it with "what was that?" A good chance lost.
"Davy-d seems to be Murray's least favourite opponent of late, always trouble for Muzza"
Anonymous on text
Murray 6 - 5 Davydenko
Murray has less trouble in the next service game and produces a solid hold. You get the feeling Murray is going to have to produce something more than keeping Davydenko occupied at the baseline and waiting for errors. He needs to put his stamp on the match.
Murray 5 - 5 Davydenko
Murray wrestles back a crucial point at 15-30 but then sacrifices the next to a hammered forehand from Davydenko. At 40-30 the Russian is then within centimetres of the game but the call is out. He replicates the shot though in the next point and gets it spot on. Unfortunately he gets the next shot very wrong; hitting long with seemingly no discernable reason. At deuce Murray hits two long and Davydenko is level. It's a fascinating duel. Small errors are being punished, and needless faults are not far behind.
Murray 5 - 4 Davydenko
Great gutsy play from Davydenko. He pulls himself back from 30-15 down to smash a break back. The winning point was a masterclass in positioning your opponent before switching side's and placing the ball just within the line. Of course double-faulting doesn't help, which is what Murray was guilty of once crucially.
Murray 5 - 3 Davydenko
Davydenko is not a happy chap as he greets a second relinquished point to give Murray a 30-0 lead with a pained scream. He wins the next point but then frustrates himself again by losing the next. Murray keeps the ball active and allows Davydenko to throw the game away by hitting long unnecessarily.
"Phil Dawkes? Chesney's brother?"
WiStAhM on 606
Indeed, I am the one and only... and you can't take that away from me.
Murray 4 - 3 Davydenko
Murray seemed on course to follow Davydenko's lead with a routine game until the Russian again drops one in short to leave his opponent floundering. He then moves Murray around expertly before hammering a smash to level it at 30-30. He then replicates the move for a game point. Murray saves the first and after seesawing on the brink finally wins the game after Davydenko hits into the net. You can't fault Murray's effort but Davydenko seems to be the one hinting at making things happen at the moment.
Murray 3 - 3 Davydenko
Davyenko serves out a routine match to love to even things up again. There's not much to separate them at the moment.
"Evening phil, what's been your take on murray on clay thus far, as far as performances go?"
Anonymous via text
Evening to you too. Was beginning to think there was no-one out there interested in this match! I think Murray's clearly still unsure on clay and is just beginning to develop his game on the surface. However, I think he's been solid and shown the stamina, patience and determination to see out matches you need to be a top player.
Murray 3 - 2 Davydenko
More finesse from Davydenko chipping just over the net to give him a 15-30 lead before Murray levels and then hammers another ace to go 40-30 up. Davydenko then goes long to give Murray the game.
Murray 2 - 2 Davydenko
Cheeky little shot from Davydenko shows he's got a subtle side as well but ironically his bigger shots desert him soon after to keep Murray in the game at 30-30. This becomes deuce with again the best and worst of the Russian's repertoire before a horribly mistimed forehand loops long to give Murray a break point. However, clearly fuelled by frustration from his previous shot Davydenko rescues it with a smashed forehand and then a supremely accurate deep backhand before forcing Murray to go wide. It's 18 points a piece so far.
Murray 2 -1 Davydenko
The first ace of the game from Murray cancels out Davydenko's initial point before we are treated to the Russian leaving his line to plant a volley near the net and well out of Murray's reach. Soon after, Nicolay has another chance for a volley winner but hits it long and then puts a backhand wide as Murray navigates a tricky game.
Murray 1-1 Davydenko
Davydenko hits himself into a 40-15 lead but Murray pulls back to deuce by depriving Davydenko anything to whip his big forehand through... that is until he gets an opening at deuce to hammer a forehand down the line to take advantage. Murray hits out and the game is the Russian's.
Murray 1-0 Davydenko
Murray gets us underway. Typically Davydenko hammers away from the back of the court but finds the net a couple of times. The Russian saves two game points with the match's first serious rally and then forces a Murray error to draw level at deuce before grabbing an advantage which Murray saves with a big serve Davydenko can only hit into the net. Murray then sees out the game. Solid start.
Looking very gloomy. Hopefully we won't have any more schedule shenanigans because of poor conditions.
"Normally on clay I'd opt for Davy, but he'll be done in after the match with Nalbandian."
BairnWalker on 606
The players are out and warming up. If Murray needed a heads up as to how to see out two matches in a day he got a pretty hint from Rafael Nadal, who saw off Nicolas Lapentti this morning and has just completed an ominous 6-3 6-3 victory over wildcard Ivan Ljubicic.
The winner of the Murray/Davydenko match will face the world number one in the semis.
Interesting jumper Davydenko's wearing by the way. A lovely blue diamond number.
Here we go again.
Welcome to the day's second instalment of Murray Monte Carlo action, courtesy of some weather-enforced schedule-cramming. This time up for the British number one it's Nicolay Davydenko who has often proven a tough opponent for Murray in the past. The Russian holds a 4-3 advantage in the head-to-head and has beaten Murray on the last two occasions they have met.
Davydenko was taken to three sets earlier by 12th seed David Nalbandian in a two-and-a-half hour third-round match, in contrast to Murray's (granted not entirely convincing) two-set victory over unseeded Italian Fabio Fognini so, in theory, the physical edge should be with the Scot.