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Murray beats Verdasco, but Dimitrov loses at Queens Club

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Andy Murray moved into the quarter-finals of the Aegon Championships as he defeated Fernando Verdasco 7-5 6-4. The Brit was tested by the talented Spaniard throughout the match but raised his level at the latter stages of both sets to secure the victory.

In the opening set, Murray raced out to a 3-0 lead, sealing the first break of serve with a deep forehand winner. The variety of the Brit unsettled the Spaniard early on, but Verdasco started to find his range and eventually restored the deficit when Murray committed two unforced errors at deuce, 4-2. Suddenly, the set became more competitive and Verdasco looked dangerous at times, but his indecisive play allowed Murray to hold serve for a 6-5 lead. The Brit increased his level and his incredible defensive capabilities to return, and Verdasco’s power was eventually too much for the left hander, as a netted forehand sealed a tight first set to Murray 7-5.

Despite his inconsistencies at times, Verdasco still posed a threat and had several opportunities to break Murray’s serve early on in the second set, much to the Brit’s anger. But, Murray, using his accurate serving and solid play, stood firm to deny Verdasco the advantage. Once again, as the set reached near it’s conclusion, it was Murray who was the more consistent as he sensed an opportunity at 5-4. Verdasco was forced to deuce as Murray’s unrelenting pressure told, and another double fault handed the former Wimbledon champion his second match point. The Brit had failed to capitalise on the first match point, but he made no mistake on the second one as the Spaniard’s backhand drifted well wide to give Murray the win.

The Brit will go on to face Gilles Muller in the quarter-finals, who upset the defending champion Grigor Dimitrov 6-4 7-6. The Luxembourg player was dominant with his powerful serve and took advantage of a loose game from Dimitrov to break his serve and with that, gain the first set. The second set needed a tie-break as both players were relatively comfortable holding serve, but the Bulgarian failed to maintain an early lead and Muller ruthlessly punished him. An incredible forehand winner down the line set up two match points and Muller closed out a deserved victory with a wrong-footing forehand winner to send the defending champion packing from the tournament.

In the other matches played, John Isner edged last year’s finalist Feliciano Lopez 7-6 6-7 7-6 in the battle of the big servers, and will play Viktor Troicki in the quarterfinals. The Serbian got the better of Marin Cilic once again in a repeat of the Stuttgart semi-final last week, roaring back from losing the first set to complete a 6-7 6-2 6-3 victory.

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