British No. 1 Andy Murray overcame another slow start to reach the third round of the Sony Open, where he will meets Spain’s Feliciano Lopez for the ninth time on the professional tour. Murray is undefeated at 8-0 against the 32nd seed, and will be looking to maintain that streak when they meet in the third round on Sunday. Check out the Murray vs Lopez Head to Head.
World No. 6 Andy Murray won his first post-Lendl match-up in the Friday night session against Matthew Ebden. It was another slow and sluggish start for the Scot, as he feel 0-3 early in the match before succumbing 6-3 to the young Aussie. He would quickly recalibrate and raise his standards to drop only one game in the following two sets. While it was certainly an odd match-up from the get-go, it did feature some incredible shotmaking at times, as well as a lot of hard-hitting from both athletes.
“He (Ebden) was playing well at the net in the first set.” Murray told Sky Sports 3 after the match. “I had six break points, I think, but I couldn’t convert. But I played better in the second and third set. I got broken right at the beginning of the third set, I played a sloppy game and needed to fire myself up, but I turned it around after that and won six games in a row.”
When asked whether the absence of Lendl has been a hard transition, Murray explained that it been a “hard” adjustment.
“It was very different without him, it’s been a hard few days. He’s been a big part of my career and to not have him around is going to be tough, but I just need to get on with it now and try to get back to playing my best tennis.”
The Briton holds a 20-6 record in Miami and will be looking to retain the title he won at last year’s event and hang on to the ATP rankings points as well.
Spain’s Feliciano Lopez arrived in the third round following a 6-2, 7-6(3) win over Jiri Vesely. The contest was relatively straightforward and last 92 minutes. Lopez has never gone past the fourth round at the Sony Open, and will be looking to top that 2007 performance with his first ever win over the British No. 1.
Murray will look to extend his head-to-head record against Lopez to 9-0 when the two step across from each other on the court on Sunday afternoon. They have already met this season at the Australian Open, which Murray won comfortably in straight sets. If he does not start slow, as has become commonplace for him this season, he should manage yet another straight sets victory, but do not be surprised if this one goes the distance.
Prediction: Andy Murray in Three Sets