Murray and Dimitrov book grand slam re-match

Fri Jan 23, 2015 3:58am EST
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By Ian Ransom

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Andy Murray has set up a mouth-watering clash with Grigor Dimitrov and a chance to avenge his defeat at Wimbledon after hammering Portugal's Joao Sousa 6-1 6-1 7-5 to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open on Friday.

The Briton had his Wimbledon title defense ended by Dimitrov in the quarter-finals last year and will face the rising Bulgarian after he prevailed in a five-set dog-fight against Marcos Baghdatis.

"It will be a tough match obviously," sixth seed Murray told reporters.

"He's played well in the slams the last year or so. Yeah, he's obviously a talented player. You know, he's one of the young guys trying to make a breakthrough, so he'll be motivated.

"Hopefully I can play a good match and make it tough for him."

Murray heads into the match without dropping a set, but was disappointed with himself for allowing 55th-ranked Sousa to recover a break in the third set and hurled his racquet in disgust.

Murray would blow two match points before closing it out but the Scot may take some comfort that Dimitrov was made to work much harder against big-hearted Cypriot Baghdatis, who famously made the 2006 final without a seeding.

The 23-year-old Dimitrov clawed back from a set down at a rowdy Showcourt Three to win 4-6 6-3 3-6 6-3 6-3, a confidence-building win after having felt like he had got out of the wrong side of bed in the morning.   Continued...

Andy Murray of Britain serves to Joao Sousa of Portugal during their men's singles third round match at the Australian Open 2015 tennis tournament in Melbourne January 23, 2015.   REUTERS/Brandon Malone