Murray downs Tomic to reach Melbourne quarter-finals

Mon Jan 25, 2016 7:08am EST
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By Nick Mulvenney

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Second seed Andy Murray had his feathers ruffled but scrapped his way into the Australian Open quarter-finals with a 6-4 6-4 7-6(4) victory over local hope Bernard Tomic on Monday.

The Briton, four-times a runner-up at Melbourne Park, was close to exasperation after being broken four times by the unorthodox Australian world number 17 but dug deep when it mattered to reach the last eight for the seventh year in a row.

"It was a tough match, both of us had our chances," Murray said. "Bernie fought his way to the end and made it difficult for me. It was a scrappy match, I don't think either of us played our best tennis at the same time."

Murray had endured a tricky couple of days since Nigel Sears, the father of his pregnant wife Kim, collapsed in the stands on Rod Laver Arena and was taken to hospital while the Scot was playing his third round tie on Margaret Court Arena.

As Sears, the coach of Ana Ivanovic, has since been discharged and cleared to join his daughter in England, Murray hoped he would have a calmer preparation for his quarter-final encounter with Spanish eighth seed David Ferrer.

"Last few days there's been a lot of emotions, things changing a lot in my head," the 28-year-old said.

"It was good to get through today and I'll rest up and hopefully I'll be a bit more relaxed for the next one."

Relaxed was clearly not the word for his demeanor on Monday as Tomic's occasionally brilliant shot-making foxed him.   Continued...

Britain's Andy Murray stretches for a shot during his fourth round match against Australia's Bernard Tomic at the Australian Open tennis tournament at Melbourne Park, Australia, January 25, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Reed