Murray allays fitness fears and sets up Djokovic quarters showdown
Andy Murray has continued his impressive record of making the quarter-finals of every Grand Slam he has taken part in since the US Open in 2010, after impressively seeing off in-form Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in three sets.
There had been questions about the Scot’s fitness before the game, but he looked convincing and confident in his 7-5 7-5 6-4 win, which also resulted in his first top 10 scalp since his Wimbledon triumph in 2013.
A certain world number one, top seed and tournament favourite Novak Djokovic (evens) now stands in Murray’s way in the last eight, and the Serb has got through all his matches without dropping a set this tournament.
Eighth seed Murray, who is 6/1 to lift his second US Open, goes into this battle at an enticing 11/4 chance to beat Djokovic, which is especially tempting since he has won five out of nine of their Grand Slam meetings.
“Playing at night against the number one player in the world is exciting,” the Scotsman said. “If you aren’t getting motivated or pumped for those matches, then that’s when there’s a problem.
“That’s what you put the work in for, so that when you come to these events and you do have to play against the best players, you’re ready. And as much as it’s incredibly tough and challenging, that’s what you enjoy.”
Despite Murray being ahead in their Grand Slam head-to-heads, it is Djokovic who leads overall in all competitions, 12-8, and he has won four of their last five encounters. That is why Coral make him odds-on at 2/7 to see off his old friend and foe once more.
Djokovic won the duo’s only match this year, 7-5 6-3 in the quarters at the Miami Masters, and he is a 6/4 chance to win in straight sets again.
Murray, though, came out on top of their last Grand Slam battle, in the Wimbledon final. He also won in straight sets, so back him at 12/1 to do so once more.
“I would say we play a fairly similar style,” Murray continued about his upcoming opponent. “I think that’s why a lot of the matches have been long games, long rallies, long points, because we do a lot of the same things well.
“I don’t know exactly what I’m going to do, but by the time I get on the court I’ll have a good idea.”
The winner of this match will face one of 2014 Australian Open champion Stan Wawrinka or Kei Nishikori in the semi-finals. On the other side of the draw, Tomas Berdych takes on Marin Cilic, while Roger Federer and Gael Monfils go head-to-head.