Shanghai Masters: Andy Murray closing in on third title in row
Murray is closing in on third title in rowBY robert jones
TENNISShout it out: Andy Murray |celebrates his win yesterdayAndy Murray revealed his body is holding up well to the rigours of his strong recent run after edging a step closer to a third successive title by defeating Stanislas Wawrinka at the Shanghai Masters yesterday.
Murray, victorious in Bangkok and Tokyo in his previous two tournaments, played some stunning tennis in sets one and three but struggled in between as the world number 19 made it a contest.
The Scot — seeded second here behind Rafael Nadal, who lost yesterday — eventually prevailed after breaking the Swiss' resistance in the decider to secure a |6-4 3-6 6-3 victory and a place in the quarter-finals.
The win extends Murray's record to 22 victories from his last 23 matches, his only defeat coming against Nadal at the US Open, but he insists fatigue is not yet a problem.
“I feel fine,” Murray said. “My legs and stuff were a wee bit tired at the end of the match. But I've no stiffness at all in my body.
“I served well for most of the match. It was just my timing was a bit off on some of my shots.”
Murray, playing his opening match in Shanghai after a first-round bye was followed by a walkover against Dmitry Tursunov, held a 5-4 record against Wawrinka going into the contest but was clearly intent on avenging defeat in their previous meeting in the last 32 at last year's US Open.
The 26-year-old from Lausanne did mount a late rally to make the scoreline more respectable before Murray closed it out.
“I got myself pumped up right at the beginning of the third set,” Murray added.
“I think it was important. Stan was playing very well. I was trying to control the ball, especially the middle of the second set. I was really struggling.”
Murray, bidding for his fifth ATP Tour title of 2011, now faces a last-eight encounter with Australian qualifier Matthew Ebden, who upset eighth-seeded Frenchman Gilles Simon 6-2 2-6 7-6 (10/8).
Nadal crashed out to Germany's world number 23 Florian Mayer |7-6 (7/5) 6-3.