The match started with both players holding serve. Despite the even scoreline Murray took charge early, hitting his first serve at a blistering 83% in the first set. Serving at 2-3, Almagro finally caved under the pressure and the UK’s no. 1 broke serve to the roar and delight of the crowd. The 2012 Wimbledon finalist quickly wrapped up the set at 6-4 in just 34 minutes.
With crowd solidly behind their hometown hero, Almagro was no match for Murray in the second set. Despite improving his first serve to 85%, Murray was playing brilliantly and struck 13 winners to his opponent’s 0. On a roll, the Scotsman broke Almagro’s serve three times and blew past the set in just 25 minutes.
The final score was 6-4, 6-1.
Bouncing back from a heartbreaking loss to Roger Federer at this year’s Wimbledon, Murray has looked strong at the Olympics having handily beaten Stanislas Wawrinka, Jarkko Nieminen and now Nicolas Almagro. Challenged in his third round match against Baghdatis, he persevered from down a set to progress to the QF.
His SF match will be a much tougher test as he looks to play either Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France, or Novak Djokovic of Serbia. Tsonga showed impressive resolve and mental toughness by defeating Milos Raonic in a marathon match that went to 25-23 in the third set. His QF opponent Djokovic was challenged by veteran Lleyton Hewitt of Australia in the third round, but managed to bounce back to get the victory.