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Murray v Monfils as it happened

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By Pranav Soneji


2234: So that's it from me, tune in again as Murray does battle with Nalbandian on Friday. Adios.

2231: Nalbandian, ranked 45th in the world, 41 places below Murray, beat Robin Soderling in three sets earlier on today. The 28-year-old is high on confidence following his victory in the Legg Mason Classic in Washington DC last week.

2228: What a bizarre match. Truly unpredictable, great for the neutral, not so great for those on either side of the channel. So David Nalbandian, winner of 11 successive matches, awaits Murray in the quarter-finals on Friday. The Argentine has played Murray twice in his professional career - and won both encounters. Their second and last match was two years ago in Paris at the ATP Masters, a match Nalbandian won 7-6 6-3.

ANDY MURRAY (4) BEATS GAEL MONFILS (15) 6-2 0-6 6-3

Murray* 6-2 0-6 5-3 Monfils
Oh no - Monfils is down, this time losing his balance getting into position to return a forehand. The slip allows Murray to take a 15-30 lead before a series of volleys at the net sees the world number four earn two match points. Monfils, cool as a Eskimo cucumber salesman, reduces the arrears to one match point with a deft forehand winner - but the match ends in an anti-climatic fashion when the Frenchman sends his second serve into the net.

Murray 6-2 0-6 5-3* Monfils
Incredible athleticism from Monfils, who refuses to give up the chase on what would be a winner against 99.98% of players on the tour. However, he cannot find sufficient control to keep the ball in play. And Murray pummels two scud-like forehands which Monfils just about returns before slamming a volley to once again open up a two-game lead.

Murray* 6-2 0-6 4-2 Monfils
Absolutely quality point to open up the sixth game as a delicate Monfils winning volley ends an enthralling rally. "CONCENTRATE!" bellows Murray as Monfils uses his sliding skills to chase down a drop-shot at the net, forcing Murray to overhit his defensive lob. The Frenchman opens up a 0-40 lead - and duly converts his second break point as Murray pumps a double-handed backhand into the net. Match still very much in the balance.

Murray 6-2 0-6 4-1 Monfils*
Monfils chops a drop-shot, catching Murray flat-footed on the baseline. The Scot charges in but cannot do anything about the perfect lob high over his head and landing a good two feet inside the service line as Monfils races into a 40-0 lead. But the Frenchman's advantage slips as Murray battles back to deuce and earns his second break of the set as Monfils meekly sends a limp forehand into the net. Advantage Murray. PS - anyone want to hazard a guess as to what the next two digits of anonymous's credit cards are?

Text in your views on 81111
From Anonymous from Bath, text 81111: "I don't know if it means anything but the numbers of the first two sets match my credit card pin."

Murray* 6-2 0-6 3-1 Monfils
More impressive baseline rallying, this time with Murray coming out on top, sealing the game to love as Monfils overhits a forehand return. It's all about Monfils' shoulder and whether it can hold out.

Murray* 6-2 0-6 2-1 Monfils
Monfils soldiers on - and yet more Murray retrieval heroics allow the Scot to win a point he had no right to take. More brilliance, this time with a cross-court backhand volley for two more break points. Monfils closes the gap with an awesome cross-court backhand to deuce, followed by a rasping forehand cross-court winner. If that hurt his shoulder then Monfils is not letting on. A solid first serve allows him to chalk his first game of the third set.

2149: The trainer massages some sort of balm into Monfils shoulder - and the 23-year-old holds a towel over his face to mask the various gurns on his face to hide the quite obvious pain he is experiencing.

Murray 6-2 0-6 2-0 Monfils*
Drop shots a plenty from both men, although Monfils loses out as Murray's alacrity around the court allows him to swallow up the yards and send a winner past the sprawling Frenchman. Monfils looks as if he is struggling, maybe from the effects of the full-length dive on a hard court from the previous game, allowing Murray to take full advantage to seal the game. Monfils has called for the trainer for treatment on his shoulder.

From Ronaldos_hair_gel on 606: "For what its worth, this match so far has the exact same scoreline as Murray's match against Stan Wawrinka at the exact same stage of the tournament from 2 years ago."

Murray* 6-2 0-6 1-0 Monfils
From his second-set nadir, Murray picks up the shattered pieces by winning a 19-shot rally for a 15-30 lead. A shocker of a forehand sees Murray earn two break points at the earliest opportunity in the third, but a slamming ace down the middle reduces that window to just one point. And Murray finally breaks his six-game losing streak - although not without a spectacular slice of athleticism from Monfils, who dives full stretch to make a Murray return, only for a Scot to bash a simple winner into the empty court. Cracking point and a quality way to open up the third set.



From MarcusBackInKensington on 606: "Going from the best set of tennis he's played in the last 6 months to the worst in the space of 30 minutes is quite an achievement."

Murray 6-2 0-6 Monfils*
Murray is sniffing distance of being on the wrong end of a bagel with extra cream cheese - and his second double fault of the match isn't exactly helping matters either. His entire game is looking ragged as a backhand slice goes wide before a phenomenal rally sees Monfils stretch Murray with yet another precise drop-shot, duly dispatched to seal an emphatic second set. Bagels and Andy Murray. Not something often seen in the same sentence these days.

Murray* 6-2 0-5 Monfils
Murray challenges a call on the tramline, but it's in hope rather than expectation as Hawk-Eye confirms the ball was a good couple of centimetres out, a point which gives Monfils the opportunity to extend his lead to 5-0. And he duly does with a missile of a forehand to win his fifth successive game.

From Sarah tennis on 606: "Is this Murray on his usual second set walkabout? "

Murray 6-2 0-4* Monfils
Shocking start from Murray as two awful returns give Monfils a 0-30 lead. Monfils, dander up, is starting to find better length with his returns as Murray sends a forehand into the net - and the Frenchman takes a 4-0 lead when a Murray drop-shot is a good six inches on the wrong side of the tramline. The polar opposite to what we saw in the first four games of the first set.


Murray* 6-2 0-3 Monfils
Monfils hammers his first ace of the match before uttering a string of indecipherable French words following a poor double-handed backhand. He repeats the same mistake to allow Murray to level at 30-30. A backhand Murray slice rattles off the top of the net but a double fault at 40-30 allows Murray back into the match. More valiant and energy-zapping defence in the unrelenting heat from Murray, but Monfils holds on for a 3-0 lead.

Murray 6-2 0-2 Monfils*
Murray mixes up his shots, combining backhand slices with looping forehands but his direction is wayward on two occasions, handing the Frenchman a break point - duly converted as Murray misdirects a forehand return. Intriguing.

Murray* 6-2 0-1 Monfils
Monfils is very close to unravelling as Murray takes a 0-30 lead in the opening game of the second set, but a slice of determination and Gallic grit sees the Frenchman level at 30-30. Murray's athletic ability knows no bounds, chasing down more lost causes which Monfils wins, but not without a proper tussle. Monfils's serve, which has been inconsistent at best, finally makes a decent impression and he holds out for the game.

Murray 6-2 Monfils*
A lazy double-handed backhand from Murray limps into the net before an impotent second serve goes the same way. A second unforced error and Monfils has three break points - where did that come from? A wayward - nay- shocking forehand goes miles wild as Monfils squanders two break points before Murray levels at deuce with a 210-km ripsnorter of a serve. A well-judged Hawk-Eye call reprieves Monfils on set point, but Murray seals the point and the first set with another rocket of a first serve.

Murray* 5-2 Monfils
Sensational defensive resolve from Murray - Monfils is bossing the point until the world number four unravels an incredible forehand on the run which beats his astounded opponent by some distance. A weak second serve is punished by a winning return, although Monfils takes a 40-30 lead with an arrogant forehand winner right on the tramline. Dismissive from Murray, a wristy forehand flick which stinks of class beats Monfils all ends up. Monfils, rapidly running out of inspiration, opts to rush to the net, only to be met by a return right at his feet. Monfils just about manages to hang on for his second set, but expect Murray to wrap this set up sooner rather than later.

Murray 5-1 Monfils*
Murray concedes his first double fault of the match, followed up by an overhit forehand to give his opponent the opportunity to close the deficit at 15-30. However, the Frenchman is screaming at himself/anyone in near vicinity following two successive unforced errors, points which allow Murray to take a 40-30 lead. A well-placed drop-shot takes the game to deuce - but another UE, again on the forehand side, and a misdirected double-handed backhand, hand Murray the point and a 5-1 lead.


Murray* 4-1 Monfils
Murray absolutely marmalises a forehand winner, swiftly followed up by another, much to the delight of the not-as-yet full crowd on Centre Court. Another break point conceded - but Murray is hell-bent on chasing everything down. Two shots which pretty much every single player on the tour would give up on are chased down, but the overhead smash is just too much as Monfils manages to level at deuce. And the Frenchman earns his first game of the match.

Murray 4-0 Monfils*
More shocking unforced errors from Monfils, who stares at coach Roger Rasheed in the stands for inspiration, but the former Australian rules footballer looks non-plussed. A rasping forehand up the line gives Murray a 40-30 lead while a direct serve into the body earns the Scot game number four.

From amazonaria on 606: "I get the feeling that the Toronto crowd are not overly impressed by Frenchmen."

Murray* 3-0 Monfils
Murray is bang up for this battle as he hammers a relentless set of groundstrokes from the baseline, eventually forcing Monfils to concede the point with a framed forehand. The world number 15 is all over the place at the moment, overhitting a double-handed backhand before surrendering a serve-and-volley point when he hammers his return into the net, handing Murray his second successive break point. The Scot is pummelling the forehand side, but it's an unforced error on the backhand which hands the second seed his third successive game. Murray in total control.

Murray 2-0 Monfils*
Sensational get from Monfils, probably the only player on the circuit who could have reached the most sumptuous of drop-shots from Murray. But two more unforced errors from the sleeveless Frenchman and Murray leads comfortably.

Text in your views on 81111
From Locky in Leeds, text 81111: "I'm stuck in A&E after popping a shoulder in rugby training. I could do with a 3 setter to keep my distracted please Andy."

Murray* 1-0 Monfils
Epic first point to open up the match as both men exchange baseline strokes before Monfils drills a double-handed backhand beyond the service line, Apologies Murray opted to receive not serve first, must expunge contents of ears... Murray is clearly set on moving Monfils to all corners of the court - and it seems to be working as his opponent overhits two attempted winners. Monfils overcooks another sizzling forehand to hand Murray two break points - which he duly converts with a well-placed forehand winner with the Frenchman at the net. Excellent start from Murray.

* denotes NEXT to serve

From Sebadono on 606: "Good luck Andy.."

2016: More sartorial azul on show, this time from Monfils, who opts for his trademark sleeveless vest accompanied by an eye-blindingly luminous yellow back - the sort of colour used by cyclists opt for when riding in pitched black conditions. Murray opts for a sober white shirt accompanied by a pair of blue shorts. The TV has just shot to mum Judy in the crowd - she has a steely-eyed stare that could cut through bank vaults. Monfils has won the toss and will serve first. Game on.

2011: Murray has a truckload of respect for his French opponent, describing him on Wednesday during his post-match interview as the most athletic player ever to pick up a tennis racquet. The Scot was patchy at times during his 7-5 6-2 second-round win over Xavier Malisse, especially during the first set. His first serve in particular was either flawless or useless. However, Monfils, nicknamed "Sliderman" by some sections of tennis' cognescenti because of his ability to stretch his limber body to all parts of the court, is a different shoal of fish altogether, with Murray admitting he will have to reassess his tactics against the fellow 23-year-old. Let's have your thoughts about this, that and the other via text 81111 or 606.

2008: So what has happened in the three previous cross-channel encounters between these two whippersnappers? They've met three times and Murray currently holds a 2-1 advantage, although the last time they played was over two years ago on the hard courts of Madrid. Awaiting the winner of this last 16 match is Argentine David Nalbandian, a man who is currently on an 11-match unbeaten run since his victory at the Legg Mason Classic in Washington DC last week.

2004: Hello, it's over to T Dot where defending champion Andy Murray takes on world number 15 Gael Monfils for a place in the quarter-finals of the Rogers Cup. The sun-drenched surroundings of Centre Court at the Rexall Centre is the venue, so over we go...





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see also
Nadal put to the test by Wawrinka
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Murray eases through in Toronto
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Murray v Malisse as it happened
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Murray & Hutchins lose in Toronto
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Maclagan hints at Murray tensions
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Querrey beats Murray in LA final
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Murray in no rush for new coach
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Murray looking for new direction
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Murray splits from coach Maclagan
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Nadal ends Murray's hopes in semi
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