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Murray v Malisse as it happened

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By Pranav Soneji

2209: So that's it from me for now, until next time, goodbye.

2208: Murray and Monfils have met three times in their professional careers - and Murray leads the head-to-head 2-1. Their last encounter was on hard courts in Madrid in 2008, a match won by the Scot.

2204: So after a testing first set, the world number four sets up a third-round encounter against Gael Monfils, one half of the double act that put him and partner Ross Hutchins out of the men's doubles on Tuesday.


Murray* 7-5 6-2 Malisse
Painful - Malisse's game is unravelling at a rate of knots as his forehand once again goes AWOL. Another double fault provokes a high-pitched shriek of frustration to hand his opponent three match points. But that deficit is cut down to one as Murray nets two successive returns. But an overhit forehand from Malisse seals the defending champion's progress into the third round.

* denotes NEXT to serve

Murray 7-5 5-2 Malisse*
Murray, dander up, races into a 40-0 lead before launching an audacious drop shot from the baseline which his opponent can only send into the net. Expect this game to be over very soon.

* denotes NEXT to serve

Murray* 7-5 4-2 Malisse
Awful start from Malisse, committing his fourth double fault of the match to give Murray a 0-15 lead. Incidentally, the Scot has yet to commit a serving error so far. Malisse looks laboured as he half-heartedly sends a forehand into the net before Murray's alacrity allows him to chase down a drop shot to slam a winner down the line. The forehand that was as potent as a 15th century cannonball is now as febrile as a water pistol.

* denotes NEXT to serve

Murray 7-5 3-2* Malisse
Wonderful finish from Murray, feigning a huge forehand smash before the subtlest of drop shots, which lands about a foot the other side of the net. The world number four is finding his groove.

* denotes NEXT to serve

Murray* 7-5 2-2 Malisse
Malisse hits only his second ace of the match before marmalising a rather comprehensive overhead smash following a weak defensive lob from Murray. However, once again the Belgian's second serve lets him down at a crucial stage, committing his second double fault. Malisse's forehand once again comes to his rescue at deuce before Murray guides a short second serve just wide to level the scores at 2-2.

* denotes NEXT to serve

Murray 7-5 2-1 Malisse*
Murray fires his sixth ace straight down the middle to take a 40-0 lead before Malisse overhits a regulation forehand return. Simple, although nothing like the tennis from the previous game.

* denotes NEXT to serve

Murray* 7-5 1-1 Malisse
Awesome execution from Malisse, who runs around his forehand side from an acute angle to smash a winner past the dumbstruck Murray. Malisse is firing cruise missiles with his forehand right now - and Murray can do little to send the rockets back over the net as the Belgian takes the second game to love. Impressive.
* denotes NEXT to serve

Murray 7-5 1-0 Malisse*
Touche! Malisse does a between-the-legs shot which nearly earns him the point, but Murray is composed enough to put away the winner at the net. Another excellent Murray get allows the British number one to take a 40-15 lead and he pockets the match with his next point. His serving is finally coming good after an iffy first few games.

* denotes NEXT to serve

From No Surprises on 606: "Oh dear oh dear malisse totally (and rather predictably) implodes. Three routine forehand putaways are missed to give Murray three set points, and a double-fault on the second gives Murray the set. If he can stay focussed here it should be straightforward for him now."

Murray* 7-5 Malisse
Shocker from Malisse, who has the left-hand side of the court begging with Murray nowhere in sight after chasing down a return, but the Belgian fires his forehand into the net on the way to going down 0-40 and three set points. However, a ripper of a forehand sees Murray net the return but his good work is undone as he double faults to hand the defending champion the first set.

* denotes NEXT to serve

Murray 6-5 Malisse*
Murray's first serve has been up and down like Dali's paintbrush this afternoon, either nailing them or getting it horribly wrong. However, a deep second serve sets up a winner from the baseline as Malisse overhits a return as Murray takes the lead for the first time in the match since the opening game.

* denotes NEXT to serve

From No Surprises on 606: "Okay, that was quite good."

Murray* 5-5 Malisse
Ripsnortering forehand on the stretch from Murray gives Malisse no chance to return - and at a crucial time too with the score at 30-30. Murray's superior athletic ability allows him to chase down a lobbed forehand return before crashing a cross-court winner. And an overhit return from Malisse allows Murray to earn the break which puts him right back into this second round match.

* denotes NEXT to serve

Murray 4-5 Malisse*
Murray finds one of those games when his first serve is as smooth as a baby's cheek, arrowing four first serves which Malisse can do little but whack into the net or high into the stands. However, the Scot needs to pull the rabbits out of the hat to prevent his opponent from taking a 1-0 lead in his next service game.

* denotes NEXT to serve

Murray* 3-5 Malisse
Sublime, from the backhand slice return on the move from Murray to the volleyed winner from Malisse, which gives the world number 52 a 30-15 lead. Two more unforced errors from Murray see the Belgian to within sniffing distance of claiming the first set.

* denotes NEXT to serve

Murray 3-4 Malisse*
Awful error from Murray, overhitting a forehand with his opponent almost at walking pace. Malisse's forehand is working like a dream right now - and the 30-year-old smokes a jaw-dropping winner down the line for 30-30. Murray's double-handed backhand is causing him some bother as he misdirects yet another effort, but he finds the correct range with the same shot to once again reduce the arrears to one game.
* denotes NEXT to serve

Murray* 2-4 Malisse
Malisse, ponytail tied back with such veracity you can almost see the tension around his temples, feels the pressure as his lack of first serve allows Murray to tot up three break points. But he claws that deficit down by winning the next three points for deuce. Woah! Malisse absolutely marmalises a cross-court forehand for advantage, but the not-so-good follows the sublime as he fires a return into the net. And the Belgian maintains his two-game advantage with an accurate serve straight down the middle.
* denotes NEXT to serve

Murray 2-3 Malisse*
Murray regains his composure with an assured service game, claiming the game with a piercing forehand down the line which Malisse can only return into the net. Still a break down though.
* denotes NEXT to serve

From andyswalker on 606: I know Malisse has been playing well recently, but form shouldn't be an issue for the world number 4."

Murray* 1-3 Malisse
The mercury has been soaring in North America over the past few weeks - and there's no let-up in Toronto with temperatures in the mid-30s once again. Whether the conditions are affecting Murray remains to be seen but the defending champion is looking sluggish. Malisse is striking the ball beautifully - most of his winners have been clean, crisp thunderbolts which his opponent can do nothing about.
* denotes NEXT to serve

Text in your views on 81111
From The Nearly Man , text 81111: "Murray just needs to adjust the mindset and be more positive and aggressive in his play. Hope he doesn't end up the Colin Montgomery of tennis!!"

Murray 1-2 Malisse *
Murray, opting for a white shirt with cobalt blue shorts, fizzes a double-handed backhand into the net following another baseline rally, before Malisse capitalises on a weak second serve, forcing Murray to return long. Two break points - down to one as Malisse mis-hits a backhand slice. But an absolute shocker of a return from Murray gifts the Belgian the break. Lots of early unforced error from the world number four here.
* denotes NEXT to serve

Murray 1-1 Malisse *
Nice start from Malisse, hammering a double-handed backhand down the line for an opening winner, but the Belgian loses his way as Murray attacks two short second serves. Malisse attempts a huge forehand at 30-30 but nets, handing Murray his first break point of the afternoon. Malisse smashes an awkward defensive lob to take the game to deuce. An awesome rally ensues, won by Malisse, and the former world number 19 seals the game with an impressive half volley a yard in front of the service line.
* denotes NEXT to serve

Murray* 1-0 Malisse
Two cracking serves first up from Murray before burying the next two points to win his first service game to love. A confidence booster. PS - the skies share a similar hue to the colours of Malisse's shirt.

* denotes NEXT to serve

2041: It's been a bit of a turbulent two weeks or so for Andy Murray following his split with coach Miles Maclagan. The 23-year-old squandered a match point in the final of the Farmers Classic in Los Angeles, allowing opponent Sam Querrey to clinch the title. And Tuesday saw the Scot bow out of the doubles when he and partner Ross Hutchins suffered a first-round loss to Philipp Kohlschreiber and Gael Monfils. However, Murray is the defending champion and he won't want to give up his title without a decent show. Let's have your thoughts about this, that and the other via text 81111 or 606. Murray, who has not won a Masters since his victory in Montreal last year, to serve first.

2037: These two gentlemen have previously met only once in their ATP Tour careers at Wimbledon in 2008, a match Murray cruised 6-4 6-2 6-2. Malisse is in a bit of form at the moment having beaten world number 19 John Isner and Wimbledon finalist Tomas Berdych on the way to the semi-finals of the Legg Mason Classic in Washington last week. Those victories helped propel the 3-0-year-old to 52 in the world rankings, along with a first-round win over Michael Barrer on Tuesday.

2034: Hello, hola, bog and howdy, it's over to Taaraaaaanooohh, or Toronto as it's written down on maps and official things, to catch a first glimpse of Andy Murray in singles action at the ATP Rogers Cup. The world number four is up against Belgian Xavier Malisse following a first-round bye.

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see also
Murray & Hutchins lose in Toronto
10 Aug 10 |  Tennis
Maclagan hints at Murray tensions
08 Aug 10 |  Tennis
Querrey beats Murray in LA final
02 Aug 10 |  Tennis
Murray in no rush for new coach
08 Aug 10 |  Tennis
Murray looking for new direction
29 Jul 10 |  Tennis
Murray splits from coach Maclagan
27 Jul 10 |  Tennis
Nadal ends Murray's hopes in semi
02 Jul 10 |  Tennis

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