Murray battles back to reach quarters
Britain’s Andy Murray survived another stern examination from Cyprus’s Marcos Baghdatis to reach the Olympic quarter-finals with a 4-6, 6-1, 6-4 win on Wednesday.
Murray had started his bid for Olympic gold in superb form, but Baghdatis pushed him hard in a four-set clash that went late into the evening in the Wimbledon third round last month and the world number 44 proved a tough opponent again at the same stage of the Games.
In windy conditions on Centre Court, Murray looked in danger of a shock defeat as the world number four was out-played in the first set.
But the Scot, beaten in this year’s Wimbledon final by Roger Federer, finally found enough momentum to edge through to a last eight clash with Spanish 11th seed Nicolas Almagro.
Baghdatis broke Murray in the opening game of the match, unleashing a brilliant forehand winner on break-point that left the Scot rooted to the spot.
Although Murray responded with a break of his own in the fourth game, Baghdatis was playing some great stuff and he broke to love to take a 4-3 lead. Baghdatis’s subtle game can make him a tricky proposition and Murray had no answer as the former Australian Open finalist served out the set.
But Baghdatis had faded after initially troubling Murray in their last meeting and once again the Scot was able to wrestle the match away from his opponent.
It was as though the first set had never happened as Murray reeled off three breaks to take the second in emphatic fashion.
Baghdatis had gone from dominant to dismal in the space of 20 minutes and Murray kept the pressure on with another break to take the final set.