Brit Andy Murray is now four matches away from defending his title, and will now contest a fourth round encounter against towering South African Kevin Anderson. The series is tied at 1-1 but Anderson won their more recent encounter in Montreal back in 2011. Check out the Murray vs Anderson Head to Head matches.
The British No. 1 continued his fine form on Friday afternoon, as he cruised past Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut in straight sets to secure his spot in the second week of the tournament. Murray, who dropped a mere two games in his second round match, won the match 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 in 1 hour and 35 minutes.
“He (Roberto) has won a lot of matches lately, winning on grass last week in Holland,” said Murray. “He has made a lot of improvements and fights very hard. I hung in some of the games, so I am happy to get it done in straight sets. It was a step up and I think I can do some things a little better.”
Next for Murray is a compelling match-up against Anderson, who beat Fabio Fognini 4-6, 6-4, 2-6, 6-2, 6-1 in two hours and 45 minutes.
“Kevin is a tough opponent,” Murray told BBC television. “Like Roberto, he is playing the best tennis of his career. He is a big guy, with a big game and I will need to be sharp when I play him. I hope the fans keep making more noise, as it really helps me.”
Anderson has now reached the fourth round of a major championship for the third time in a row, as he struck 45 winners and 28 unforced errors to secure the victory over the Italian No. 1.
“It was a very interesting match I would say,” said Anderson. “There was a lot of ups and downs. Facing those break points, down two sets to one, I definitely knew it was my time if I wanted to at least stay even and give myself a chance to win.
“From that time, I just felt much better. Felt like I got a second wind going. I felt much more relaxed. My feet were much better. The last two sets were sort of what I would have liked to start the match out with. Obviously I’m very happy to get through regardless of what might have taken place in the match.”
This contest will serve as the rubber match between Murray and Anderson, who are tied at 1-1 in the head-to-head series. This is the first time they will play each other in nearly three year, and also the first time on grass. Murray will undoubtedly be the favourite in this contest, while Anderson will have to deal with the pressure of defeating the defending champion and British No. 1 in front of his adoring fans on hostile territory.
Prediction: Andy Murray in Four Sets