Indian Wells, March 20: World No.4 Andy Murray became Britain’s most successful Open Era tennis player when he defeated Feliciano Lopez and advanced to the semi-fils of BNP Paribas Open.
With the landmark 6-3, 6-4 win against the No.12 on Thursday, the Scot moved ahead of Tim Henman as Britain’s most successful male player in the Open era with 497 singles victories, reports Xinhua.
He is now three victories away from becoming the 46th man to reach 500 wins in the Era. It was also Murray’s 10th straight win over Lopez.
“I thought I played a good match. Every time he came to net I made it very difficult for him. I passed very well, and that was important, because it meant that he spent more time at the back of the court,” Murray said after the win Thursday.
Talking about the reason for his perfect 10 against left-hander Lopez, Murray said, “obviously a little bit of luck, but also, you know, his game style I think matches up quite well against mine”.
With the win, Murray’s career record against lefties improved to 63-18. Of his 18 losses, 15 have come against dal.
“I don’t have as much trouble with the lefties just because I grew up playing with one, and that’s obviously one of his biggest advantages,” Murray said.
The fourth-seeded Murray created 13 break points against Lopez’s fierce left serve and converted three of them to prevail in one hour and 32 minutes.
“I think he’s been playing great this year since the Australian Open, where he reached the fils,” said Lopez. “He seems to be in good shape. I think he played great today. He hasn’t missed any ball almost. He was very solid, consistent. I think I needed to do something extra to win the points.”
The one-sided victory earned the Scot a semi-fil clash on Saturday against top-seeded Novak Djokovic, after the Serbian’s quarter-fil opponent Berrd Tomic withdrew due to a back injury.
The match will mark Murray’s 21st World Tour Masters semi-fil, and his first at this level since winning Miami in March of 2013.
Murray will look to beat Djokovic for the first time since the 2013 Wimbledon fil when the two meets for the 25th time on Saturday.
Djokovic leads their head-to-head 16-8 and defeated Murray for the 16th time in the 2015 Australian Open fil.
“I feel like I played well this week and if I can keep that level up and for a sustained period on Saturday, I’ll have a chance,” Murray said. IANS