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Resilient Andy Murray fights off Tsonga challenge

By Eleanor Crooks

Andy Murray recorded his best win since lifting the Wimbledon trophy last year to set up a blockbuster US Open quarter-final against Novak Djokovic.

Murray had not beaten a top-10 player since his emotional victory over Djokovic on Centre Court more than a year ago but played a very fine match in the New York heat to defeat ninth seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-5 7-5 6-4.

It maintained the Scot's impressive record of having reached at least the quarter-finals of every Grand Slam tournament he has played in for the past four years.

Murray said: "It was extremely tough condition wise, very humid. It started to cool down a bit at the end but the first two sets were very long, tough sets and mentally quite draining. I'm glad I managed to get through."

The 27-year-old will meet his long-time rival Djokovic at a slam for the first time since Wimbledon in the last eight tomorrow and for the first time at Flushing Meadows since his maiden Grand Slam triumph two years ago.

"It will be a tough match," said Murray. "We've had a lot of long ones, there are normally a lot of rallies. We had a long one here a few years ago; I've obviously got great memories from that match.

"Hopefully we can play another top-level match. If I play well, I have a chance."

Murray had beaten Tsonga in nine of their previous 11 matches but lost the most recent one in Toronto last month from 3-0 up in the final set.

It was the first time Tsonga had beaten his former junior rival in a competitive match for six-and-a-half years.

Djokovic has moved into the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam for the 22nd time in a row after seeing off Germany's Philipp Kohlschreiber.

Kohlschreiber, the 22nd seed, was the last man to deny Djokovic a place in the last eight of a Major tournament, beating him in the third round at Roland Garros in 2009, but had no answer this time.

Djokovic made a lightning start, winning the first four games, and although Kohlschreiber began to find some rhythm he could do nothing to prevent a 6-1 7-5 6-4 victory for Djokovic.

Djokovic broke Kohlschreiber twice as he steamrollered his way through the opening set in 25 minutes. The second set was a much closer affair, and Djokovic was serving to stay alive as he trailed 4-5, 30-40, but a cross-court forehand kept him alive and, buoyed, he swiftly broke Kohlschreiber to go two sets up.

Another unforced error from Kohlschreiber put him in an early hole in the third set, and there was no way back from there.

"It was very humid for both of us," Djokovic said after the encounter.

"We had a lot of long rallies.

"The match could have gone either way, especially in the second set."

Belfast Telegraph

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