Bogomolov Bounces Murray
by Matt Fitzgerald|
Where has Andy Murray gone? Another low ranked American stunned the world No. 5 for a second consecutive tournament, as Alex Bogomolov Jr. knocked out the Scotsman 6-1, 7-5 in the second round of the Sony Ericsson Open.
Last week, Donald Young shocked the tennis world with a straight sets victory over Murray in the second round of Indian Wells. This is just the latest of puzzling performances since Murray’s defeat to Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open final.
Playing on stadium court, Bogomolov dashed to a 4-0 lead. The combination of steady play from the American and Murray’s inability to get anything going on serve was a perfect recipe to success for Bogomolov, securing the first set handily.
“I didn't play particularly well,” disclosed Murray. “He hardly missed at all in the first set. Made it very difficult for me… he moved the ball around. When I was sort of hitting most balls crosscourt, he was hitting down the line, slicing, changing the direction of the ball, moving well.”
The second set was more competitive but Murray was still unable to protect his serve, losing it four times. His return game picked up and enabled him to stay in the match but his defensive abilities were not up to his usual standard. “Moving today was so poor like compared with how I normally move.” Murray expanded upon the statement, claiming his work in practice is not translating over to match play.
“In practice I have been competing well, especially this week, chasing everything down, playing a lot of good points and feeling good. Then in the matches I haven't been able to get it going at all.”
Bogomolov served for it at 5-3 but Murray played his best return game of the match and broke the American on his third break point. A solid hold evened the set at 5-5 and it appeared the Scot had something left to give. After a hold by Bogomolov, Murray faltered on serve and on his first match point, the 27 year old American wrapped up the upset in front of a bewildered, but encouraging crowd.
While it may be considered the biggest win of his career, it’s not necessarily the most meaningful. “In terms of being in Miami and being from the town, yeah, the sentimental value is huge,” said Bogomolov.
“But, coming back from injuries, from my surgery [two years ago], was definitely something special, as well, because I didn't think I was going to play tennis again. So to get the first win after that was big.”
With a strong run of results in 2011, Bogomolov attributed his self-belief to compete with top players like Murray to the form he’s shown this season. “I’m playing the bigger points better and the wins really give you confidence,” Bogomolov said. “Once you're in that state, you believe you can do certain things that you weren't able to do before.”
Nicknamed “Bogie”, his third round opponent will be determined later today. He could play American John Isner should the No. 30 seed get past Russian Igor Andreev. If Isner prevails, it would set up an attractive All-American matchup. The two have played before but not at the ATP World Tour level.
“I played Isner in Lubbock, Texas [in 2008], which has a little bit of altitude. I think the first two sets went 7 6, 6 7. I broke him at 5 All in the third set, served for it at 6 5, and lost the match.”
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