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Davydenko did not look like a man who had not lost in 12 matches, his forehand in particular looking as rusty as a Yugo from the 70s. Onwards and upwards for Murray, who will play the winner of the Jo-Wilfried Tsonga or world number one Roger Federer. Thanks for tuning in.
ANDY MURRAY BEATS NIKOLAY DAVYDENKO 6-2 6-4 Murray 6-2 6-4 Davydenko*
Horror show from Davydenko, who nets a simple volley with Murray well beaten. Murray pumps his fist for the first time in the match as he takes a 15-30 lead. He earns two match points as another unforced error on the forehand sees Davydenko meekly return into the net. And lo and behold, another shocking unforced error on the forehand side sees Murray seal his place in the semi-finals on Saturday.
Murray* 6-2 5-4 Davydenko
Just brilliant from Murray, who looks as if he is about to kiss the court as he stoops low to guide a phenomenal double-handed backhand winner down the line, just as Davydenko looks to steal the point. A trusty ace down the middle sees the world number three race along to 40-0, but Davydenko seizes upon a short second serve, returning a perfect winner past his beaten opponent. The game is sealed as Murray fires another unreturnable serve down the middle.
Murray 6-2 4-4 Davydenko*
A horrendous drive volley from Davydenko, which threatens to damage the dental work of one of the line judges. However, he redeems himself with a series of clean winners before an overhit Murray forehand gifts him the game. Hardly what one would call liquid tennis, but intriguing nonetheless.
Murray* 6-2 4-3 Davydenko
Unforced errors a plenty from the Russian, who looks increasingly dejected by his lack of execution. Not so for Murray, who breezes through another comfortable service game.
Murray 6-2 3-3 Davydenko*
Davydenko opens up with a textbook point, dragging Murray all over the court before dispatching a weak defensive lob. Double-handed backhand and forehand winners sees the Russian level the second set with little bother.
Murray* 6-2 3-2 Davydenko
Quite, quite brilliant from both players. A Davydenko return clips the net and changes its trajectory, forcing Murray to backtrack and adjust his stroke. The duo maintain a high-class rally until the Russian's forehand is too deep to contrive his racket around. But despite losing the point, Murray once again serves out for the game with few complications.
Murray 6-2 2-2 Davydenko*
Murray steps inside the service line to dispatch a short Davydenko second serve, only to send his double-handed backhand into the net, a mistake which has him grimacing to the heavens. A dreamy forehand winner from Davydenko closes out the game.
Murray* 6-2 2-1 Davydenko
Murray steps up his service game, his rhythmical action too good for Davydenko, who fails to chase down an accurate forehand winner into the left-hand corner for the game. Murray is all over his opponent in this set.
spdavic on 606:
"Considering that in the past Andy always have a hard time with Davydenko, save for Davydenko still making some adjustments after his comeback, Murray's performance here is a sign of improvement."
Murray 6-2 1-1 Davydenko*
Davydenko's game is slowly beginning to unravel as yet another unforced error sees Murray move to 30-30, although the Russian redeems his self-esteem with a monumental forehand volley drive down the line. And, despite Murray's enthusiastic defensive resolve, Davydenko manages to hold on to his serve for the first time in four games.
Murray* 6-2 1-0 Davydenko
Murray breezes through the first three points of his service game, the crowd warming to his exploits, although his second double fault of the game allows Davydenko to rally and level at deuce. Davydenko spews a tirade of vitriol in Russian after overhitting another return - only to repeat the exact same mistake in the very next point to hand the first game of the second set on a platter to Murray.
From Keith, Leeds, text 81111:
"According to Wiki Answers it's 'Montrealers'."
FIRST SET: MURRAY 6-2 DAVYDENKO Murray 6-2 Davydenko*
Murray attempts to make Davydenko look foolish with a topspin lob/drop-shot combo, but the Russian is equal to the task as Murray sends a defensive lob long. However, despite the blip, Murray takes the first set without too many complications. Strange set, the score flatters the 22-year-old.
Murray* 5-2 Davydenko
Davydenko challenges a call which lands just wide of the left-hand tramline and Hawk-Eye confirms the line judge was correct, although we're talking the breadth of a gnat's wing between where the ball landed and the line. And the Russian once again is too eager with a forehand winner with Murray struggling on the service line, a point which gives the Scot a three-game cushion.
Murray 4-2 Davydenko*
Murray attacks Davydenko's second serve, stepping inside the service line before smashing a double-handed backhand past his opponent's forehand side, earning two break points in the process. And once again he converts at the first asking as Davydenko's return lands beyond the service line. That's the third successive game lost on serve.
From Andrew, St Andrews, text 81111:
"Murray has a habit of easing off the gas after convincing wins like yesterday's but I still think he'll have too much for Davydenko. Murray in straight sets, probably at least one tie-break."
Murray* 3-2 Davydenko
Subtle play from the Russian, whose drop volley at the net has Murray scuttling from the back of the court. Murray, so unruffled and in control against Ferrero on Thursday, loses his discipline at the worst possible time, double faulting at 30-40, allowing Davydenko to instantly break back.
Murray 3-1 Davydenko*
The sun-baked Montrealites (Montrealians?) hold up the start of the fourth game, presumably to stock up on large quantities of ice cream and factor 30. Davydenko attempts a Hollywood-style forehand, only to send the ball hurtling towards the tramlines. A rather untimely double fault at 40-30 and Murray earns his first break point of the match as a return balloons off the net court, allowing the Scot to pummel a backhand winner across court. And he duly converts at the first attempt as Davydenko fires a poor return wide of the left tramline.
Murray* 2-1 Davydenko
Nerves a plenty from Murray, whose whippet-like ground speed cannot chase down a superb forehand winner into the corner from Davydenko, who earns a break point in the process. The Scot's serve is nowhere near its standards against Ferrero, but he manages to hold on, drilling a powerful serve straight down the middle of the court.
From Tristan, text 81111:
"Murray to win in straight sets - a close 1st followed by a convincing 2nd (7-5, 6-3)."
Murray 1-1 Davydenko*
A wide-brimmed sun hat and Jackie O-style sunnies conceals the pretty face of Irina Davydenko, the wife of Nikolay, who fires a superb double-handed backhand just millimetres over the net to take a 40-15 lead. Two overhit returns from the world number eight sees Murray claw the game to deuce, but two successive points see Davydenko hold serve.
Murray* 1-0 Davydenko
A solid, if unspectacular start from Murray. Davydenko is Jekyll and Hyde, drilling a wayward double-handed backhand into the tramlines before a pinpoint pass down the line for 40-30. The Russian takes the game to deuce but Murray's serve, so fluid against Ferrero on Thursday, comes to his rescue with an ace down the middle before his opponent overhits a second serve attempting to attack on the baseline.
Murray to serve first.
Both men are knocking up serve as the sun belts down on the Uniprix Stadium, with the thermometer tipping 31 degrees. Davydenko, fully recovered following a heel injury which kept him out of action at the start of the year, has yet to drop a set on his way to the quarter-final, seeing off Paul-Henri Mathieu and Fernando Gonzalez.
noleisthebest on 606:
"If Murray gets past Davydenko, I don't think he'll having any trouble disposing of Federer."
These two have met eight times in previous encounters, with neither holding an advantage at four wins each. However, Murray won their only match this year on clay in the quarter-finals of the Monte Carlo Masters. But, in another twist worthy of the Usual Suspects, Davydenko has the advantage on hard courts, winning four matches to Murray's three. Let's have your thoughts about this, that and the other via text 81111
(with the word "tennis" before your message) or the 606
website (link above).
So fresh from a humiliating quiz defeat alongside fellow Brit Ross Hutchins, the Scot will attempt to regain some sort of credibility on the tennis court against world number eight Nikolay Davydenko, a man who looks like he is permanently sucking a lemon, in the quarter-finals of the Montreal Masters.