Tennis Freaks

“1821: Nadal, I’ve noticed, has a problem with his shorts, in that they keep on getting stuck up his jacksie and he has to pull them out before every point. Not sure why he doesn’t just get a size up, he’s probably loaded.”

Archive for andy murray

Murray v Federer as it happened

Flushing Meadows, 25 August-7 September


US Open

Final result:


6-2 7-5 6-2







By Caroline Cheese


0025: I know it wasn’t the result many of you were hoping for, but you have to give it to King Fed. The Swiss mister showed flashes of genius tonight and Murray – only 24 hours after beating the world number one – wasn’t quite there. Lay off him, though. No one beats Nadal and Federer in the same tournament. It’s tennis law. Murray will win a Grand Slam title. There, I said it. Thanks for your company tonight. Off to bed with you.

0021: “As much as I love Murray’s style of play, Federer deserved to win it tonight for his overall performance over the past fortnight, but Andy’ll be back I’m sure.”
xenosys2005 on 606

0019: Rog has won a car for his efforts but I think he’s more bothered by getting his hands on that sparkly trophy. For the fifth year in a row, Federer is the US Open champion. He is the first man in history to win both the Wimbledon and US Open titles five times in a row and the first since 1924 to win five on the trot in New York.

0018: Here comes “history-making Roger Federer “, as he is introduced by our super-enthusiastic announcer. “It definitely feels great,” says Rog. “After this year, to take this home is incredible. It means the world to me. I’m not going to stop at 13 – that would be terrible! I congratulate Andy – he’s done great these last two weeks. I’m sure we’re going to see a lot more of him in the future.”

0015: Andy Murray gives the crowd a forlorn wave as he comes to collect his runners-up trophy. “I had a great tournament but I came up against, in my opinion, the best player ever to play game today. I got the better of him the last two times and he definitely set the record straight today. I’ve learnt I’ve got a lot of improving to do if I want to win one of these things. I love playing in front of this crowd – it’s been the best time of my life.”

0012: The Stars and Stripes are waving in the Arthur Ashe Stadium, along with the flags of Switzerland and Great Britain – which still looks rather nice actually. Bit of bla-bla to go before we get to the presentation.

0011: “Not too shabby from Fed. Great to see him get number five, well-deserved, and a nice cap on what has been for him a disappointing hard-court run. Murray very gracious, and gave it a good go, coming back from what looked like being blanked in the third.”
Im_partial on 606

0009: Federer’s experience told in that final, the world number two delivering when it counted – in particular in that closely-fought second set. Murray couldn’t quite produce his best, but not many players do in their first Grand Slam final. He will be back.

0007: “Federer was simply awesome. Unlucky Andy, you have a lot of years ahead of you.”
Andrew, Edinburgh, via text on 81111

Murray 2-6 5-7 2-6 Federer
Murray refuses to concede defeat and is fuming as he puts a lob narrowly long. Federer’s forehand puts him two points away from the title – but Murray responds with a sizzling backhand down the line and Fed sees his forehand go wide after hitting the tape. An errant backhand gives Murray game point but Fed pounces on a weak second serve to make it deuce and a Murray error gives Fed his first championship point. Two brave, brilliant volleys from Murray save it but Fed earns another with a brutal backhand. The crowd don’t want this to end – but it has. Murray scampers around the back of the court sending up lob after lob but Fed puts him away in the end, falling onto the court as he celebrates his 13th Grand Slam title, his first for a year and his fifth US Open in a row.

2358: “Federer has been top class but you can’t help but feel like Murray’s time is yet to come in the sport.”
Anon via text on 81111

Murray 2-6 5-7 2-5 Federer
Hold the back page. Murray powers away a forehand winner to bring up a break point and then a searing return makes Fed net. Who wrote him off? Come on, own up.

Murray 2-6 5-7 1-5 Federer
Three cheers. Murray gets a huge roar from the crowd as he puts in a massive effort to hold serve for the first time in the set.

2352: “I think Roger will pass Pete Sampras’ record of 14 Grand Slams now. I can’t see how he won’t get two more in the rest of his career.”
Jeff Tarango on BBC Radio 5 Live

Murray 2-6 5-7 0-5 Federer
The crowd aren’t enjoying this much. Murray looks completely spent. Federer, though, deserves all the praise in the world. Grand Slam number 13 is a game away.

Murray 2-6 5-7 0-4 Federer
I can’t watch. A double fault puts Federer 0-30 up and a poor backhand into the net gives the world number two three break points. Murray trots to the net in very unconvincing fashion and doesn’t seem at all surprised to see the backhand flashing past him. This could be over very quickly.

2346: “Unfortunately, Federer really seems to have got his game back together at the moment. Nadal wouldn’t have had any answer for this either.”
cilurnum on 606

Murray 2-6 5-7 0-3 Federer
Murray looks to bounce back, engaging Federer in a mesmerising rally from the baseline – but then ruins all his good work by belting a backhand long. No matter, a sizzling forehand forces Federer into his zillionth volley error of the match. The world number two survives from deuce, but good battling from Murray.

Murray 2-6 5-7 0-2 Federer
Federer plays Murray at his own game, a delicate drop shot leaving his opponent flat-footed. Federer places a simple pass cross-court to bring up three break points. Murray puts a tame forehand into the net and that’s a break to love. The 21-year-old now has a mountain ahead of him – and he looks far too weary to climb it.

Murray 2-6 5-7 0-1 Federer
Just three sets, Andy, just three. Fed holds to 15.


2335: “My days!!! Roger just played the best game ever man!! Whoa!!!”
intellectualAdam on 606

Murray 2-6 5-7 Federer
Good start from Federer, whipping a forehand into the corner to make it 0-15, and it gets better, the champion finally nailing a decent volley. Murray’s first serve deserts him at the worst possible time and Federer chip-charges to bring up three set points. An absolutely scintillating rally ends with Federer chasing down a drop shot and sending his forehand down the line. The world number two punches the air with delight – and I think he senses title number five.

2330: “Come on Murray, do it for us people on night shifts… You’re adding a lot of fun to a very tedious work place! I cant think of anything better than seeing you wipe the smile off that smug Federer’s face!”
Laura, Ipswich, via text on 81111

Murray 2-6 5-6 Federer
Murray wins the point of the match so far, running back to collect a Federer lob before rocking the world number two with a brutal forehand onto the baseline. He had no right to win that point. Fed shanks a backhand and that’s 30-30. Murray’s return is called long – to gasps from the crowd – but the Brit doesn’t challenge. Strange.

Murray 2-6 5-5 Federer
Murray batters his head with his racquet after a loose forehand into the trams on the first point, but the British number one recovers brilliantly with a backhand winner. Federer goes walkabout again and that allows Murray to come through quite comfortably.

Murray 2-6 4-5 Federer
At 15-15, Murray steps in for a forehand with the whole court at his mercy – but blasts it long. Murray responds with a brilliant cross-court pass, although Fed’s approach shot was poor, but the champion hangs on and the pressure is right back on the Brit now.

2318: “How about printing a message from a Federer fan for a change? Come on Roger – you’re the best there’s ever been!”
Anon via text on 81111

Murray 2-6 4-4 Federer
During that changeover, the crowd are treated to pictures of actress Charlize Theron snogging her boyfriend on the big screen. Back to the tennis though. Murray is still clutching his knee from time to time, but he’s keeping his focus. The 21-year-old races into a 40-0 lead before taking it to 15 with a second-serve ace.

2314: “I think Andy is figuring it out…”
mexito on 606

Murray 2-6 3-4 Federer
Murray attacks the Federer forehand and is rewarded when the ball hits the net. That’s 15-30 but he then shanks a forehand disastrously. “Noooooooooo,” screams the Scot. Fed gets the forehand back on track and the second seed sneaks ahead in the set again.

Murray 2-6 3-3 Federer
Murray clutches his knee and hops about a bit after every point. Bit worrying. Still, the Brit holds to 15 – in part thanks to another shocker of a volley from Federer. The world number two looks like he has never been to net.

2306: “Murray needs to stay positive. He missed a few break points but if they keep coming, he’ll get one. He just needs to concentrate on popping in a few big serves as he has done in the last few service games.”
Pat Cash on BBC Radio 5 Live

Murray 2-6 2-3 Federer
Federer goes spectacularly off the boil. He puts a routine backhand volley in the net and that’s three more break points for Murray. Fed, though, comes right back. Powering groundstrokes onto the baseline, he saves the first two before somehow winning the third despite some very shaky volleying. The defending champion survives by the skin of his teeth. Might be a very big game that.

Murray 2-6 2-2 Federer
Billie Jean King, wearing some delightful 60s-style sunglasses, is studiously reading something. Shame. She’s missing some good tennis here. Murray seems to have come to the party, while Federer is still showing flashes of brilliance. Murray polishes off the game with the old one-two: a big serve and the easy put-away off the short ball.

Murray 2-6 1-2 Federer
Hello. Hello! Welcome to the US Open final, Andy Murray. He steps in to spank a forehand return cross-court and then hammers a backhand so hard that Fed nets his volley. Break back.

2252: “Murray hangs in. That’s what he does very well – and Federer will miss a few balls. He’s not superhuman anymore.”
Pat Cash on BBC Radio 5 Live

Murray 2-6 0-2 Federer
The crowd have gone a bit quiet and you sense that if Murray can find some inspiration, they might just get behind the Brit. Federer, though, just looks awesome. He races into a 0-30 lead on the Murray serve and it’s almost a shock when Fed sticks a backhand wide. Murray clenches his fist as he forces another error, but then a shanked forehand lets Fed back in. A couple of deuces later, Murray nets a simple forehand and it’s break point Fed. The baseline rally ends with Federer whipping a stunning forehand cross-court. It’s just too good.

Murray 2-6 0-1 Federer
Murray’s head is dropping. A man with a Union Jack painted on his face looks on with concern. Worrying times these. Unless you’re Roger Federer. The champ rises gloriously to put away the smash and that’s a love service game.

2242: “I wouldn’t want to be a teacher in Scotland tomorrow because there are going to be a lot of tired kids because this is going all the way! Come on Andy.”
Anon via text on 81111

2241: “Murray played the first set like someone who played yesterday and has only had 24 hours off.”
Jeff Tarango on BBC Radio 5 Live


Murray 2-6 Federer
The crowd are definitely behind the artist formerly known as King Fed, but they may swing the other way if this continues. Two stinging forehands have Murray rocking and that’s two set points for the world number two. Yet another forehand hammer forces another Murray error and that’s the first gone in 26 minutes.

2237: “No-one can live with Federer when he plays this well, not even Nadal. It’s just too good.”
Manufan87 on 606

Murray 2-5 Federer
Bad news Murray fans, Federer looks good. Very good. He shows how confident he is by charging to the net and driving a volley cross-court. Murray manages to get it back to 40-30 but Federer bangs down a first serve and all of a sudden, he’s a game away from the first set.

Murray 2-4 Federer
Uh-oh. Murray goes for a big second serve, but it’s just long and his first double-fault of the match gives Fed a 0-30 lead. Federer goes long with a forehand but when Murray nets a routine backhand, it gives the world number two his second and third break points of the match. Going for the big winner, Murray sends a forehand into the trams. HawkEye agrees with the linesman’s call and it’s first blood to Fed.

2228: “Well 50 years I’ve been watching tennis, seen Tim and Greg come and go, I didn’t think I would see another Brit in the final before the end of my time, COME ON!!”
Anon via text on 81111

Murray 2-3 Federer
“Federer’s hitting the ball very hard,” comments a colleague. Devastating analysis. The hard-hitting Federer is winning most of the baseline exchanges for the moment and his serve is looking top-notch too. An easy hold for the Swiss mister.

Murray 2-2 Federer
Federer steps it up, sending a rasping forehand onto the baseline before some brilliant reactions at the net make it 15-30. The world number two is unlucky to see a backhand clip the net and drop wide but after a brutal baseline rally, Murray is the first to blink, mis-hitting a forehand to give Fed a break point. Brave stuff from Murray though, rocking Fed with a deep forehand.

2220: “Federer is just too talented for Murray. The match is on Federer’s racket.”
cheeryBerbatovRules on 606

Murray 1-2 Federer
Federer moves into position to spank a forehand down the line – but Murray scampers over and incredibly loops the pass cross-court. That makes it 30-30 but a big serve helps Federer out and Murray nets a backhand.

Murray 1-1 Federer
Murray loses the first point with an errant backhand but there’s no sign of panic. Two service winners – including his first ace – get him back on track and a cross-court forehand pass takes him to game point. Fed goes just wide. Good start from the Brit.

Murray 0-1 Federer
Fed opens up with two winning first serves before Murray puts a tame return into the net. The world number two seals the game with an effortless backhand winner. Not bad, not bad.

2212: Off we go then. Murray will receive the Federer serve.

2211: Half the crowd seem to be still polishing off their hot dogs outside because the stadium is only slowly filling up. Still, it is Monday so I imagine a few ticket-holders have had to go to work.

2209: “I’m terribly nervously excited!!”
napoleon-solo on 606

2208: A note for the fashion watchers. Murray is wearing his now familiar grey T-shirt and white shorts. Federer has just taken off his special ‘NY 2008’ tracksuit top to reveal a red top and khaki shorts combo.

2205: The umpires goes through the toin coss routine at the net before the players pose for the traditional pre-match photo at the net. “Have a great match,” Federer tells Murray. “Thanks,” says Murray.

2202: Andy Murray makes his entrance into the Arthur Ashe Stadium, waving at the crowd as he does. The Brit looks pretty calm as he prepares for his first Grand Slam final. A fella called Federer follows.

2200: “I am possibly a little older than Andy’s Gran and on this day awaiting two happy events – the arrival of great-grandchild number two and Andy becoming US Open champ. Come on Mr Murray – make my day.”
Supergran via text on 81111

2156: “Anyone feel like singing with me?” asks Harry. “Not really,” the crowd seem to respond. But his rendition gets a good ovation before a very noisy flypast by the Blue Angels.

2154: Here he comes. Yes, jazz twiddler Harry Connick Jr will sing America the Beautiful.

2152: “He’s come a remarkably long way, especially from when he was getting criticism a year ago about his fitness. But he always insisted he just needed time for his body to grow. The way he played and lasted against Nadal shows he was right. And it also shows he was right to get rid of Brad Gilbert and take on Miles MacLagan, even though he was just starting out as a coach.”
Murray’s biographer, Rob Robertson, speaking on BBC Radio Scotland.

2146: A well-known sportswear company employed boxing promoter Don King to big up the ‘Grapple in the Apple’ between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal before this tournament. Things didn’t quite work out as planned did they? Still, the wacky American has done his best with Murray… “He’s the double 0 seven of the tennis court: Andy Murray. Blistering back serves, forearm, one two, know what I mean?” Erm, I’m not sure that I do.

2140: “Andy seems pretty calm. Obviously, it’s a new experience when you get to this stage but I think he’s pretty clear about what he’s trying to do. I don’t think anything will surprise me. Andy is very capable of winning.”
Paul Annacone, Pete Sampras’s former coach and current LTA men’s head coach

2137: “Watched yesterday’s match in NYC LaGuardia airport. As John McEnroe said: “If Murray stays aggressive and doesn’t get down on himself he can beat anybody, he is that good.” Come on Murray get stuck in and do us all proud…”
hyflyer on 606

2135: Here’s a treat for you UK users, video footage of Andy Murray as a 14-year-old. He appears to be chewing gum while making mincemeat of the BBC man. Tsk.

2130: “If we take away the scenario, we know Andy Murray has got a big chance, we know he can beat Roger Federer. But it’s a massive occasion and the big question is how will he deal with it? How will the nerves affect him? The crowd will be with Roger, no question. He’s a big favourite here.”
Former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash

2127: “I have to be up at 4.30 tomorrow for a history trip to France. Should I go to bed now or watch Murray? Not really a hard choice – Murray in four.”
Daniel, London, via text on 81111

2124: “He’s up there with the big three. Nadal was the only one he has never beaten. He’s beaten them all now.”
Andy Murray’s gran Shirley Eskine


2119: “The weather is beautiful: sunshine, blue skies and pretty still.”
BBC Radio 5 Live’s Jonathan Overend in New York 2117: “I’m in a tent, camping in Cornwall. I’ve bought my laptop, an internet card, and ready for Murray to sort Fed out. My girlfriend is not pleased.”
Anon via text on 81111

2114: Ooh, I forgot to say. If you’re a 606 fan, opening hours are extended today so you can chat away until 0300 BST tomorrow morning. How marvellous.

2112: “My other half is Scottish and desperately wants a Murray victory, I however couldn’t turn down the 8-15 odds offered on a Federer win, there may be trouble ahead.”
Brian, Liverpool, via text on 81111
I’m no betting expert, but they don’t sound like good odds to me. Am I mad?

2108: Let’s hear from Scottish golfing legend Colin Montgomerie shall we? “As a fellow Scot and fellow Perthshire resident I am delighted. I am passing Dunblane on the way home this evening, we only live 10 miles apart. If he can beat Nadal and then Federer he deserves to win the US Open.”

2104: No one seems to remember 1936, but apparently everyone remembers that 1483 was the year of three kings. Many thanks for all your texts on that, but please, let’s hear no more about it. History’s boring innit?

2102: “The doors are open, the patrons are coming in and beginning to take their seats in Arthur Ashe Stadium.”
BBC Radio 5 Live’s Jonathan Overend in New York

2059: “I’m going to go on the same muscle-building programme as Andy Murray. I’m going to become Super Minister. He’s quite skilful, he’s unpredictable. He’s fast. He’s got instinct. I hope he wins tonight. But one way or the other, this is a top-class tennis player.”
Scotland First Minister Alex Salmond

2055: “I was at a party with Andy’s girlfriend’s brother last week. That sort of makes me famous, right? I’m thinking he’ll win in four sets! Good luck Andy.”
Adam from Burgess Hill, via text on 81111

2052: Andy Murray and Roger Federer have both completed their warm-ups. The four-time defending champion opted for Arthur Ashe Stadium, while Murray stuck with one of the outside courts. Interesting? Or not really?

2049: “Re 2042: Sorry, but only two kings in 1485. Rich 3rd and henry 7th. Basic history mistake.”
Thom, Wokingham, via text on 81111

2047: The great and good of Scotland have been throwing their weight behind Andy Murray today. Here’s His Royal Hoyness Chris, er Hoy: “The fight and determination he seems to have is inspiring for a lot of athletes and if anyone can beat Federer, I’m sure Andy is the man to do it.”

2042: “Re 2027: 1936 was only the third year in history to have three kings. The others being 1485 and 1066, but you’ll probably be hard-pressed to find someone who remembers them.”
Alex, Wimbledon, via text on 81111

2037: According to my extensive research (yup, wikipedia again), Fred Perry, Britain’s last male Grand Slam singles champion, used to shout “very clevah” when his opponent hit a good shot – which would really rile his rivals. Just a little tip for Andy, if he’s reading.

2032: “Forget school tomorrow, I’ll be up as long as long as they’re playing! Had a really awful day today so hopefully Andy can improve it with a winning performance.”
arryaddick on 606

2027: Of course, I especially want to hear your memories of the last time a British man won a Grand Slam singles title back in 1936. A year when the Depression lingered on, the Spanish Civil War began, King Edward VIII abdicated and the Hoover Dam was completed. And the good old BBC started its first television broadcasts. Wonder what happened to the Beeb?

2021: “COME ON MURRAY. Had to get that one out before anyone else!”
Chris in Chepstow, via text on 81111

2017: Look, former Wimbledon champ Michael Stich has got involved already. “I think you have to go for Roger for his experience,” the German told BBC Radio 5 Live. “He has 12 Grand Slam titles. A lot depends on how the match starts. Andy has to make sure the first set is tight. It’s not too bad if he loses it, but he must not let Roger win it 6-2 or 6-3 and cruise it.”

2011: It won’t have escaped your notice that there are still nearly two hours until the big kick-off in New York, and even then, there’ll be all sorts of razzle-dazzle before the players actually get to the court, so this is where you come in. Text on 81111 (charges apply) or get involved on 606 . Don’t let me ask you twice.

2005: Hello. You’ll be here for the big one. The grudge match. The Grapple in the Apple. Four-time defending champion Roger Federer against world number one Rafael Na… you what? A Brit? In a Grand Slam final? Well, bless my soul…


Murray v Federer as it happened

Dubai Tennis Championships

First-round result


6-7 (6-8) 6-3 6-4

By Caroline Cheese

1712: Well, well, well. Brilliant stuff from Murray, who kept his composure after losing the first-set tiebreak from 5-2 up. Federer looked short of match practice – but it still takes a special player to hold his nerve against the world number one. Murray now has a 2-1 head-to-head record against Federer. The Briton did not face a break point in the entire match. Astonishing.

Murray 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 6-4 Federer
Murray bangs down an ace to make it 40-0 and the 20-year-old delivers another huge serve down the middle to complete a fabulous win. The defending champion and world number one goes out in the first round.

Murray 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 5-4 Federer
An unbelievable point. Federer somehow picks up a ferocious Murray return on the half-volley and then recovers to put away the attempted pass. That makes it 40-15 and he holds to make Murray serve out the match.

Murray 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 5-3 Federer
Federer has won the title on four of his last five visits to Dubai. The other time, he only managed to reach the final. He’s staring down the barrel of a first-round exit in 2008 as Murray holds comfortably. The Briton’s serve has been awesome today.

Murray 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 4-3 Federer
Federer stems the flow of games against but he needs a break of serve – and he hasn’t really come close yet.

Murray 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 4-2 Federer
Fed dumps a volley into the net to give Murray a 40-15 lead and the Briton is cruising now.

Murray 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 3-2 Federer
Another terrible line call. Murray is 0-40 up and thinks he has the break when Fed’s second serve is called long. Hawk-Eye says very differently so Fed has another go – but Murray simply blasts a forehand at the world number one and he can’t deal with the pace. What a chance for Murray now…

Murray 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 2-2 Federer
No sniff of a break point for the world number one there. Love service game from Murray.

“Rog hasn’t had a single break point today!!!!!!!”
JonnyFedFan on 606

And that stat does deserve seven exclamation marks Murray 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 1-2 Federer
Federer seems to have recovered some form as he holds to 15. We could be in for a blockbuster finish…

Murray 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 1-1 Federer
Murray is pegged back to deuce in unfortunate circumstances. He’s ready to hit a short ball for a winner when a line judge inexplicably calls it out. Murray laughs it off – but it could have been crucial. The point is replayed and Fed wins it – but Murray takes the game after a couple of deuces. The crowd are definitely behind the Brit.

“You absolute beauty Murray. I am unashamedly kissing the computer screen right now! The reign of the Fed Express is over…”
Maudinio in Bath, via text on 81111
Calm down, Maudinio, it’s not over yet…

Murray 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 0-1 Federer
Murray’s got this crowd in the palm of his hand now as he unleashes another spectacular forehand winner to move 30-15 up. Federer responds with a horrible backhand error, giving Murray two break points. Fed saves both but he’s clinging on here. The world number one’s gone off the boil in a big way – but Murray has to take some of the credit for that.

“Murray has the game to challenge Fed. Awesome service game.”
Marc, Gloucesteshire, via text on 81111

Second set

Murray 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 Federer
Federer challenges a call on the baseline but he’s wrong so Murray gets two set points. An ace seals it – and we’re into a decider. Brilliant recovery from Murray.

Murray 6-7 (6-8) 5-3 Federer
Murray has a little chuckle with the umpire after his lob narrowly misses the baseline. Will he be as relaxed as he goes to serve out this set?

Murray 6-7 (6-8) 5-2 Federer
Love service game. That was a quickfire – and I must say, unexpected – turnaround and suddenly Murray’s on a roll.

Murray 6-7 (6-8) 4-2 Federer
What am I saying? A break point! Our first of the day! And it’s to Murray! Federer is disgusted with himself as he goes long and Murray makes the most of it with a brilliant forehand pass. And with the way the Brit’s serving…

“I believe Andy Murray is gonna be the best! But when is it gonna happen?”
Via text on 81111
Not today anyway…

Murray 6-7 (6-8) 3-2 Federer
At 30-15 down, Federer produces one of the best backhand drop volleys I’ve ever seen. Honestly, I don’t know quite how he did it. Murray does well to recover, his serve once again doing all the damage.

Murray 6-7 (6-8) 2-2 Federer
Fed’s backhand might be a bit off but his volleying has been impeccable. A quickfire game there and we’re all square again.

Murray 6-7 (6-8) 2-1 Federer
It’s deuce – only the second time a game has gone to deuce I think. Fed lets Murray off the hook though by completely shanking a backhand. The world number one’s backhand hasn’t looked great today, it has to be said. By his stupidly high standards anyway.

Murray 6-7 (6-8) 1-1 Federer
Federer stretches to put away the smash and in doing so, levels up the set. Interesting point about Murray’s hair there. Mind you, a new ‘do’ didn’t do Federer any harm did it? He’s been even better since getting rid of the ponytail.

“I wonder if the hair was the source of Murray’s power? I guess we’ll find out soon enough. A bit like Samson. But Scottish. Obviously.”
Richey in Weymouth, via text on 81111

Murray 6-7 (6-8) 1-0 Federer
Someone just asked me if Murray choked in that tiebreak. That would be very, very harsh. If you were being hyper-critical, I suppose you might accuse Murray of playing a bit too safe. This is a huge test for the Brit now but he’s off to a good start – holding to 30.

First set

Murray 6-7 (6-8) Federer
The first mini-break goes to Murray as Fed goes long off a terrific return from the Scot. Some more brutal serving from the 20-year-old puts him 5-2 ahead but crucially he then misses a relatively easy return. He smacks his racket – sensing a missed opportunity – and he is proved right. Murray belts a forehand into the net to concede the break. You rarely get a second chance against Federer and the world number one snatches the breaker with a huge forehand Murray can’t handle.

Murray 6-6 Federer
Murray heeds The Nameless One’s call – just about. Federer wins the point of the match so far, Murray hitting a shot round the net only for the Swiss master to half-volley it back onto the baseline and beyond the Scot’s reach. Phenomenal. He gets to 30-30 but Murray responds with a brilliant volley on the stretch. The crowd are loving this now.

“Don’t you dare get broken now Andy.”
The Nameless One on 606

Murray 5-6 Federer
Murray is like a terrier out there, chasing down an angled drop volley and forcing Fed into an error. No worries for the world number one, though. He holds to 30.

Murray 5-5 Federer
Lucky boy Murray. He tempts Fed into the net with a drop shot and then mis-hits the pass – but it has so much top-spin on it, it drops onto the baseline. That makes it 30-0 and he goes on to wrap up a love game with an ace. No break points so far.

Murray 4-5 Federer
Well, this is really flying by isn’t it? Great quality so far but the sparks are yet to fly. Pressure all on Muzza now…

Murray 4-4 Federer
Solid serving again from Murray – who isn’t giving Fed any rhythm on his return. Crunch time approaching…

Murray 3-4 Federer
“Yup,” comes the response from Muzza as Fed whips a forehand down the line to bring up 40-0. The world number one looks like he really fancies it today.

Murray 3-3 Federer
Great serving from Muzza in this opening spell. That’s his first love game.

“C’mon Murray. Not to put too much on it, but this game could make or break his season…”
MontheDano1 on 606

Good for you, not putting too much on it. Murray 2-3 Federer
Federer produces an miraculous backhand volley on the stretch to get himself to game point. Let’s hope that’s a taste of things to come.

Murray 2-2 Federer
One of Murray’s fans is wearing a Tam O’Shanter hat – not the best choice of headwear in scorching Dubai I wouldn’t have thought. Muzza’s in a bit of trouble at deuce but he places a backhand down the line to get back on track.

“I think Andy will win this one, especially if he starts well. He’s had more matches and is in better form.”
Ajeet, Notts, via text on 81111

Murray 1-2 Federer
Another comfortable hold for Federer, who is playing his first match since his semi-final defeat by Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open back in January.

Murray 1-1 Federer
Fed rifles a backhand onto the line to make it 15-15 but Murray hits back with a couple of aces and he’s off the mark in impressive style.

Murray 0-1 Federer
Federer opens the defence of his title with two straight aces and goes on to hold to love. He looks in the mood folks.

1512: Away we go then. Fed to serve…

1511: “Which Murray will turn up? The world beater or the first-round loser? My money’s on a classic!”

1510: So who’s your money on (proverbially speaking. We don’t encourage actual betting)? Let me know via text on 81111 or join in the chat over on 606 .
1506: I think Andy won the coin toss and chose to receive. It was a bit difficult to hear because the night crowd in Dubai are super excited about this match – and so am I.

1503: And the big news is… Andy Murray has finally had his unruly hair cut. Very tidy it is too. Thank goodness.

1500: Andy Murray hasn’t had the luck of the draw this year has he? He picks out Jo-Willy Tsonga in Melbourne then gets world number one Roger Federer in Dubai. Still, we’re not complaining. This has all the makings of a belter…

Story from BBC SPORT

Murray v Nadal gamewatch

Australian Open, Melbourne Park Fourth round result:

A Murray (GB) v R Nadal (Spa)

7-6 4-6 6-4 3-6 1-6

* denotes server


By Ben Dirs

Fifth set:

Murray 1-6 Nadal
Murray fraying now, a wild forehand sailing miles long and wide, and the Scot plays a tame backhand into the net to give Nadal match-point. Nadal goes long with the first but produces a great passing backhand to finally seal the match after three hours and 52 minutes of mind-bogglingly good tennis. Nadal falls to the floor and clutches his face as if he’s just won the title. Great performance from Murray – he’ll cut Nadal down one day.

Murray 1-5 Nadal
Looks all over now and Murray will rue the raft of break-points he’s missed in this match. Hand it to Nadal, however, he looks to be buzzing more now than he was at the start – someone check that man’s bananas! Murray does chalk up a game in the fifth, scrambling well on the final point to hold reasonably easily.

Murray 0-5 Nadal
Murray wins another thrilling point, manoeuvring Nadal all over the court before putting away a deft forehand volley. But Nadal is still going at full throttle and holds serve easily.

Murray 0-4 Nadal
Double-fault by Murray but the Scot keeps his composure at the net to go 30-15. Signs of weariness and frustration from Murray as he plays a backhand rather limply into the net but Murray saves a break point with a rasping backhand winner. However, Nadal double-breaks, pouncing on a favourable net-cord and putting away the overhead.

Murray 0-3 Nadal
Nadal has found another gear from somewhere and wraps his raquet around a cross-court forehand winner to go 15-0. Murray isn’t finished though and leaves Nadal standing with a dreamy forehand straight down the line. Murray earns two more break points with a fine dipping backhand. He should have converted the first, but needlessly retrieves a backhand volley way outside in the tramlines and Nadal picks him off. Nadal makes it deuce with an impudent drop-shot and these unconverted break-points are mounting up. However, Murray earns another with a thumping backhand winner. Murray roars in Nadal’s direction at the net and the Spaniard, who looks like he’d be quite handy in an argument, stares back. Nadal saves again though, Murray slamming a backhand wide, and holds when Murray goes long with two consecutive backhands. Choker for Murray, he must hold now.

Murray 0-2 Nadal
Wicked cross-court backhand winner from Nadal and the Spaniard works some angles to move to 15-30. Nadal’s pumped up for this final set, scrambling around the corner as if it’s the first. He earns break-point with a simply magnificent forehand winner down the line and breaks with a cross-court forehand that leaves Murray in diving boots.

Murray 0-1 Nadal
Strap yourselves in, this could go all the way. Murray’s fiddling with his teeth now. If it’s not his side it’s his teeth, he really is a little drama queen. Murray outhustles Nadal from the back of the court and makes it 15-30 with a doozy of a forehand winner. Murray earns break point with a vicious flat forehand but just misses with a fizzing backhand. However, Murray puts away a forehand volley to regain the advantage – but mishits an attempted top-spin forehand. Murray goes off alarming after finding the net with a forehand and Nadal rubs his nose in it with an ace to hold.

Fourth set:

Murray 3-6 Nadal
The umpire overrules the baseline judge, Murray challenges the umpire and Hawkeye proves the umpire correct. Does that all make sense? Nadal gets a wicked net-cord that ricochets over Murray’s oustretched racket and the Scot double-faults on break point. It’s decider time ladies and gentlemen…

Murray 3-5 Nadal
Nadal tucks into a banana between games and comes out bristling, taking the game with some ease.

Murray 3-4 Nadal
Nadal reads a Murray drop-shot and plays a deft winner cross-court. A fine pick-up off his toes by Murray makes it 30-15 and both players are thigh deep in the trenches here. Nadal hits back with a ripper of a forehand before reaching another Murray drop-shot and converting the point. Nadal challenges a Murray winner – but the call was correct and the game stands at deuce. A mis-hit by Murray gives him the advantage, but he misses with a forehand on the run. This is looking like it could be a pivotal game. Murray gives Nadal the advantage with a backhand into the net and Nadal breaks courtesy of a fluffed volley by the Scot. Nadal in the driving seat here in set four.

Murray 3-3 Nadal
Coming up to 1am in Melbourne and there are still about 10,000 crammed into the Rod Laver Arena. Murray gives himself a talking to after missing with a backhand before Nadal rams home an ace out wide. However, Nadal is then called for a foot-fault – rare indeed – before Murray muffs a backhand. Easy service hold for Nadal.

Murray 3-2 Nadal
Murray wrong-foots Nadal with a forehand winner before serve and volleying to go 30-0. A thumping ace makes it 40-0 and Nadal hands the game to Murray with a wild forehand. Just three games needed now Andy…we all know it’s not going to be as easy as at…

Murray 2-2 Nadal
Breathtaking backhand down the line by Murray before he unleashes a forehand winner at full gallop. Three break points for the Scot. Nadal saves the first with a muscular forehand winner before Murray just misses the line with a backhand. Had he challenged, Hawkeye would have called it in. Nadal brings it back to deuce before fluffing a backhand into the net. The Spaniard saves again but loses another exchange at the net. However, Nadal comes off best in a lengthy baseline exchange, Murray dinking a forehand long when he should have done better. Five break-points saved by Nadal and he holds. And it’s a big hold by the world number two.

Murray 2-1 Nadal
Murray absolutely larrups a forehand winner down the line before showing some dreamy touch, bringing Nadal into the net before putting him away with a cross-court backhand. Nadal looks irritable with one of the ball boys at the change of ends and he’s clearly rattled.

Murray 1-1 Nadal
Murray unfurls another killer backhand before Nadal goes wide. Murray, to his anguish, misses out with a forehand that sits up and Nadal battles back to hold serve. Anyone betting against a deciding set?

Murray 1-0 Nadal
Murray’s been off the court for a ‘comfort break’, and this time Nadal decides not to go with him. Nadal is getting outgunned again from the back of the court and Murray looks fit as a butcher’s dog at the moment. Two unforced errors from Murray bring it back to 40-30, but he holds after Nadal puts a backhand return into the net.

Third set:

Murray 6-4 Nadal
Apparently Roger Federer’s not a fan of line-call challenges and Hawkeye, but I think it’s tremendous, it adds a bit of suspense to proceedings. Nadal unleashes a blistering forehand winner but is forced into an error by some more hustling from the baseline by Murray. Murray ambushes the Nadal second serve and puts away a backhand winner before Nadal goes long to hand the Scot two set points. Nadal saves the first, putting a backhand into the net, but he goes wide on the second and Murray leads again. Remarkable recovery by Murray – I thought he was a dead man after the second set.

Murray 5-4 Nadal
Two break-points for Nadal, the drop-volley not working for once for Murray. Murray saves the first with a hammer-like forehand and drags the game back to deuce with a booming serve. He then reads Nadal’s pick-up at the net and puts away a forehand down the line. A rare raid on the net brings dividends and Murray takes the game after a drawn-out line-call challenge by Nadal.

Murray 4-4 Nadal
Murray unleashes an absolute humdinger of a passing backhand – it’s quite possible a tennis ball has never been hit harder. Murray follows up with a tame backhand into the bottom of the net, after which he has a bit of a chuckle to himself. Not often you see the Scot crack a smile on court. Nadal holds and this is developing into all-out war without the guns.

Murray 4-3 Nadal
Murray holds serve with his 12th ace of the match. He’s right back in a contest he seemed to be limping out of just 10 minutes ago.

Murray 3-3 Nadal
A courageous effort from Murray who works himself into a 30-0 advantage, and sees his attempted winner bounce milimetres wide of the baseline. Next point, though, Nadal can only skid a volley into the net to give Murray two break points. The Scot takes the opportunity at the first time of asking to level the scores. Fair play to him, he’s got his game right back in order.

Murray 2-3 Nadal
Murray may be struggling with his service game, but his touch at the net and his winners from the back of the court have not deserted him. He holds serve and lets Nadal know that he won’t get things his own way.

Murray 1-3 Nadal
Murray ceratinly hasn’t given this up. He plays some delightful touch volleys to go 30-0 in front but lets Nadal back in. The 19-year-old bellows out a long “nooooooo” like a cartoon character who has locked himself out of the house. Nadal seems to be in control now, dictating the pace and direction of play.

Murray 1-2 Nadal
Murray’s serve is a shadow of what we saw in the first set. A double fault gives Nadal a break point – and another double fault hands the early break to his opponent. Murray seems at odds with himself, but there is still no sign of a trainer coming on court to take a look at him.

Murray 1-1 Nadal
Even the net cords are against Murray at the moment. In the first set the ball was wrong-footing Nadal off the rope, but the tennis gods are favouring the Spaniard now. Nadal scarcely needs any more assistance as he holds with aplomb.

Murray 1-0 Nadal
Murray hits two aces and throws in a smart overhead volley to take the opening game of the third set. It’s better stuff than we’ve seen from him for a little while in this match, but Nadal is looking ominously strong on his returns.

Second set:

Murray 4-6 Nadal
Murray is clutching his right side between games and I’m not sure if he hasn’t done himself a mischief. Just like that, the Scot has gone flat and it looks like he’s got tears in his eyes. Not sure why he doesn’t grab a medical break. Nadal takes an easy service game and that’s the set. Sorry folks, but this isn’t looking good for the Scot.

Murray 4-5 Nadal
A tame backhand from Murray makes it 0-30 to Nadal but a wonderful lunging backhand volley brings him back into the game. However, another backhand into the net makes it two more break-points to Nadal and Murray serves up a double-fault on the first.

Murray 4-4 Nadal
Murray spots an insect and some poor kid has to carry it off court. Brave – I’ve been to Australia, there are bugs over there the size of badgers. More class from Murray brings the game back to 40-30, leaving Nadal for dead with a deft backhand volley. But Nadal does level the set and he looks like he’s about to step up a gear. Time to gird your loins Andy…

Murray 4-3 Nadal
Nadal sending out distress signals now, peering into the crowd after another sliced winner from Murray. However, Nadal is made of seriously stern stuff and creates a break-point with a vicious backhand return. Touché from Murray, rendering Nadal statue-like with an audacious backhand winner of his own. However, Nadal does break, Murray going well long with a wild backhand. It would be easy to call this a slugging match, but it’s more like watching the two Sugars, Ray Robinson and Ray Leonard, go at it for 15 rounds. Craft and touch in every game.

Murray 4-2 Nadal
A winner at the net greeted by a rare fist-pump from Nadal, but Murray hauls himself back into the game with a typically-cheeky drop-shot. Nadal then challenges a line-call, and is proved correct by Hawkeye, before clinching the game. A pretty comfortable service game for Nadal, and that will be a relief to him at this stage.

“Murray is making Nadal look like an average player, which is staggering. It’s mind-boggling how well he’s playing. But it’s only early days…”
John Lloyd on BBC Two

Murray 4-1 Nadal
A peachy backhand lob from Nadal is only the prelude to the rally of the match so far, both players dinking and nudging away before Murray wins the point with a deep, searching forehand. Murray holds and his coach Brad Gilbert, sat in the stands, looks as astounded as everyone else.

Murray 3-1 Nadal
Feel the power, Rafael – the Spaniard is left wafting behind the baseline by a muscular forehand return from Murray. Murray then plays a dreamy little half-volley off his toes to make it 40-30 before taking the game to deuce with a chunky forehand approach. Nadal is outhustled again at deuce and Nadal hands Murray the game with a tame forehand into the net. First break of the match by Murray and Nadal finds himself knees deep in a war.

Murray 2-1 Nadal
A couple of unforced errors from Murray bring up two break points for Nadal. Murray saves both, the second with a Henman-esque backhand volley that leaves Nadal in knots at the back of the court. Nadal fluffs a backhand volley as Murray takes advantage and the Scot holds with an ace. Gutsy Andy, very gutsy.

Murray 1-1 Nadal
Murray puts some manners on a forehand winner and – whisper it very quietly – Nadal is being bullied at the moment. Murray is climbing all over Nadal, pouncing on a short serve and thumping a backhand straight past the Spaniard. However, Nadal saves all three break points, staying alive with a fizzing backhand pass on the last. Nadal leaves Murray rooted with a forehand winner before putting away a poor drop-shot to save serve. Nadal pumping that fist for the first time and that was a missed opportunity for Murray.

Murray 1-0 Nadal
Players are off to the throne. Not sure who decided they wanted a ‘comfort break’ first, but I suspect it was Nadal, who has clearly been shaken up by his younger adversary. Nadal is all over the shop at the moment, framing two service returns in a row. A very comfortable service game from Murray and the Scot has not been bumped out of his groove by that short break after the first set.

First set:

“It’s going to plan, he’s messing with Nadal’s mind. But don’t think this is going to be a straight sets victory…”
Andrew Castle on BBC Two

Murray 7-6 Nadal
Murray gets the first mini-break and follows up with another ace out wide. He finds the bottom of the net with a tame backhand and Nadal moves 3-2 ahead. Murray levels things with another wide ace before making his first challenge of the match, a successful one against a Nadal second serve. Murray catches Nadal out with a deep, searching forehand before Nadal puts a backhand volley well wide. Three set points for Murray. He challenges a Nadal backhand on the first and, indeed, is was out. First blood to Murray and the Spaniard is clearly rattled.

Murray 6-6 Nadal
Murray hands Nadal the first break-point of the match with a tame sliced backhand into the net but saves with a slamming forehand at the net. He follows up with another whipped forehand winner before finding the net with a backhand into the net. Murray leaves Nadal for dead with another forehand winner before outhustling the Spaniard to take the set into a tie-break.

“Murray’s play so far is a level above anything we’ve seen in his previous three matches.”
John Lloyd on BBC Two

Murray 5-6 Nadal
Extraordinary shot from Nadal, digging out what looks like a Murray winner and leaving the Scot for dead. Nadal then gets the better of a lengthy exchange, leading to some fruity language from Murray. Another easy save from Nadal and Murray needs to win his service game to save the set.

Murray 5-5 Nadal
Strange atmosphere in the Rod Laver Arena, like a shopping arcade. Murray sends down another booming ace before getting a slice of luck, a net-cord plopping safely over the other side. Murray then outhustles Nadal, playing a drop-shot to bring Nadal into the net before putting in the lob. Another solid service game from Murray.

Murray 4-5 Nadal
Nadal, the ultimate baseline warrior, is happy to serve and volley so far, looking very comfortable in putting away a backhand at the net. Nadal moves into a 40-0 lead before Murray pounces on a couple of Nadal second serves to make it deuce. Nadal, however, clinches the game with a dipping cross-court backhand that leaves Murray floundering in no-man’s land.

Murray 4-4 Nadal
Murray is getting plenty of support from the Aussie fans – the fact he’s a Scot and not an Englishman will no doubt have something to do with that. Very comfortable hold by Murray and this opening set is hurtling towards a tie-break fast.

Murray 3-4 Nadal
Nadal gets a lucky net-cord, the ball ricocheting over Murray’s outstretched racket and the Spaniard is finding things pretty easy on his serve. Another win to love, Nadal wrapping things up with a heat-seeking backhand down the line.

Murray 3-3 Nadal
Cute drop-volley by Murray before Nadal gets the better of the Scot after an exchange at the net, fetching a lob and putting the ball away on the turn. Murray then sends down his first ace of the day before Nadal takes the game to deuce with a meaty return. Another ace by Murray (207kph) and Nadal gives up the game with a long forehand. Murray is holding his own so far.

Murray 2-3 Nadal
Nadal is no mug at the net and demonstrates this with a neat stop-volley. Murray is not making much inroads on the Nadal serve and the world number two seals the game with a well-executed backhand volley.

Murray 2-2 Nadal
Nadal goes 0-15 with a wicked backhand winner straight down the line but Murray, mixing it up as he’ll need to, comes to the net to make it 15-15 with a backhand volley. Murray is then outhustled by Nadal from the back of the court, but the Scot is sticking in there, leaving Nadal flat-footed with a fine backhand winner before clinching the game with an overhead.

Murray 1-2 Nadal
Nadal is looking in uncompromising mood and sends down his first ace on his way to another routine service game.

Murray 1-1 Nadal
Another lengthy exchange, Murray drawing Nadal away from the baseline and the Spaniard finding the net with his forehand volley. Murray then puts Nadal away with a bit of touch around the net before Nadal punishes a poorly-executed drop-volley. But Murray seals the game with a pearling forehand down the line which leaves Nadal rooted.

Murray 0-1 Nadal
Nadal to serve first and he wins the opening point, a lengthy exchange from the back of the court. Pretty routine service game for the world number two and a sluggish start from Murray.

1055 GMT: Players knocking up now and Murray, despite his recent physical advances, looks like a little boy next to the muscle-bound Nadal. The last British player to reach the last eight at the Australian Open was John Lloyd – he got his backside handed to him by Ivan Lendl back in the day.

1048 GMT: Nadal bounces from side to side like a welterweight as he faces Murray at the net, Murray stares back unmoved. Apparently the Aussie fans have nicknamed Murray ‘Muzzer’. Genius, absolute genius.

1045 GMT: Players enter the Rod Laver Arena, Murray looking the more pensive. Nadal is wearing a rascal of an outfit – yellow tanktop, headband and some camo shorts. He looks like a holiday rep.

Story from BBC SPORT

Flawless Murray into next round

Australian Open, Melbourne Park

First round result:

A MURRAY (GB) v A Martin (Sp) 6-0 6-0 6-1


By Sarah Holt

Third set:

Murray 6-1 Martin
After that blip in the last game, Murray is focused on closing out the match and he leaps for a match at 30-15. He closes in on match point and the Scottish teenager and British number one takes it with a decent cross-court forehand to reach the second round of the Australian Open for the first time.

“He made a solid player look like a rank amateur and he will go into the second round match very, very confidently as he was never troubled at all.”
Great Britain Davis Cup captain John Lloyd

Murray 5-1 Martin
Murray is in danger of missing out on a landmark scoreline as Martin goes 40-0 up – and the Scot swings his racquet in disgust. It is all over now for Murray’s hopes of an historic triple bagel as Martin takes a game with a whipped forehand.

Murray 5-0 Martin
A double fault from Murray – and he has only got 47% of his first serves in during the match – sees the Scot fall behind to 15-30. It is a momentary blip as he shouts “Come on” and recovers 30-30 before holding.

“This is a very, very rare occurence in tennis to have this scoreline.”
Five Live commentator Jonathan Overend

Murray 4-0 Martin
Martin just isn’t able to get a grip on the match at all as he crumbles to 0-40. A mistake from Murray hands the Spaniard a point back but inevitably Murray breaks again as Martin misjudges another forehand.

Murray 3-0 Martin
Murray exclaims “Argh ahh” as he concedes a point with a double fault but that is the only point he loses as he holds.

“It’s been a practice session for Murray so far.”
Great Britain Davis Cup captain John Lloyd

“I think it’s time to get the cream cheese out.”
Five Live analyst Sam Smith sees a triple bagel coming for Murray

Murray 2-0 Martin
Martin knows he is now in the business of saving some face by getting a game on the board but it looks like a pretty impossible task against the Scot. Murray races forward to skip the ball over the net for 0-30 then the Spaniard goes long for 0-40. In fact, there are some entertaining rallies in this game and Martin jumps up for a smash and 30-40. Oh, it’s all over as Martin shoots wide to hand Murray his 14th game.

Murray 1-0 Martin
A rare mistake from Murray as he thwacks the ball into the net post for 30-15. The 19-year-old holds with ease and calmly drinks some water, while at the opposite end of the court, a flushed and sweating Martin looks on despondently.

Second set:

Murray 6-0 Martin
There are more mistakes from Martin and he hands Murray two set points. Almost predictably the Spaniard goes long to hand the Scot the break and the second set, for a double bagel scoreline.

“This is a mis-match – a heavyweight going up against a lightweight, but the second round will not be that way.”
Great Britain Davis Cup captain John Lloyd

Murray 5-0 Martin
News from Great Britain Davis Cup captain John Lloyd that Andy’s Mum Judy got caught by the sun watching Alan Mackin’s defeat earlier in the day because she forgot to wear a hat. She is here watching her son though – and Andy’s older brother Jamie popped in the commentary box too. Anyway, Murray holds again with ease as he rolls on.

Murray 4-0 Martin
Martin is desperately trying to find a way back into the game but his efforts are met with clever counter-punching from the Scot. Murray is outplaying the Spanish world number 60 in every way and he is doing it with calm diligence too – and he secures the double break.

Murray 3-0 Martin
Murray sends Martin scurrying from side-to-side on the baseline as he moves to 40-15 with a sliced forehand. The Spaniard stands open mouthed as he shoots long again to see Murray surge on again.

Murray 2-0 Martin
BBC commentator Chris Bailey jokes that his Spanish counterparts must have known what the outcome of the match would be as they haven’t even bothered to turn up in their commentary box next door. Maybe they were onto something as Martin loops the ball long to hand Murray a break – and his eighth game in a row.

Murray 1-0 Martin
The momentum stays with Murray as he quickly moves to 40-0 – maybe too quickly as he goes long with a heavy shot for 40-15. It does not matter anyway as Murray recovers and holds to scattered applause at the Vodafone Arena.

First set:

Murray 6-0 Martin
Martin pumps the ball wide again to fall 15-30 behind. Murray utters his first words out on court, a simple “No”, as the ball pings off the net and into the tramlines to take Martin to 40-30 and within sight of his first points on the board. But the Spaniard goes wide for deuce. It is hard work for Martin and, after five deuces, he makes two woeful errors to hand Murray a third break and the set.

Murray 5-0 Martin
Another precise angled shot takes Murray to 40-0 and another biting serve sees him hold to race to a 5-0 lead without facing a single break point.

“If Murray is going to be a Grand Slam champion he is going to have to temper his emotions and that is what he is doing here.”
Five Live commentator Jonathan Overend

Murray 4-0 Martin
Another mishit from an out-of-sorts Martin sees him slide to 15-30. Murray is moving so well around the court that he isn’t having to work hard to force Martin into making errors. Murray closes out the game with an angled forehand to break again for a 4-0 lead.

Murray 3-0 Martin
Martin is rushing a little bit here as his unforced errors see the Briton go 30-0 up. The unseeded Spaniard hits his racquet on the floor as he concedes another point and it is looking pretty good for Murray as he takes a 3-0 lead.

“All Andy is thinking at the moment is progressing to the later rounds of this tournament – and he is feeling very confident.”
Great Britain Davis Cup captain John Lloyd

Murray 2-0 Martin
Some very solid returns from Murray take the Briton to 15-40 – and his first break point is in sight. The Spaniard unleashes an angle forehand to save one break point but he overcooks the next forehand to hand Murray an easy break.

Murray 1-0 Martin
Murray serves first to get the match under way. He sends down an ace which just clips the line to level at 15-15 after conceding the first point to Martin. A backhand mishit from Martin takes Murray to 40-15. The Scot eventually wins a tit-for-tat first game after being taken to deuce.


Andy Murray and Alberto Martin are now out on court and officials have decided to keep the roof closed to keep the temperatures down, that means the ball will bounce less too.

The Scottish teenager ambles out wearing dark green shorts, a white top with two-tone green waves, his usual baseball cap and black strapping on his left ankle.

Play is running late in Melbourne because of extreme temperatures which have run as high as 40C.

Matches on the outside courts were halted at 35C while the retractable roofs on the Rod Laver Arena and Vodafone Arena have been closed.

Murray is facing clay-court specialist Martin for the first time in his opening game of the Australian Open.

Murray, 19, is the number 15 seed and has made an impressive start to the season, reaching the final of the Qatar Open in Doha.

The British number one made his debut at the Australian Open last year but was beaten in the first round by Juan Ignacio Chela. He claims that loss spurred him on to work harder throughout the season.

Martin, the world number 60, has twice advanced to the third round in Melbourne.

“Everyone is talking about a more mature, fitter Murray and if all that is true he could have his best performance in a Grand Slam to date.”
BBC analyst Chris Bailey

“He is a dangerous threat and the other players respect him now.”
Great Britain Davis Cup captain John Lloyd

Story from BBC SPORT: