A delighted Andy Murray avenged his Wimbledon defeat in Melbourne today, knocking the Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov out of the Australian Open in four gruelling sets of #Tennis in the process. The number six seed lost his first set of the championship in doing so, but will nonetheless be pleased to have come through in three and half hours, to make the quarter-finals for the sixth consecutive time Down Under.
The late-night match finished after midnight local time to signal an 'Australia Day' win for the Scot. Fifteen thousand people witnessed Murray's success, although at least some of those in attendance were also keeping tabs on another last-16 match that was nearing the end, as Aussie Nick Kyrgios finally won through in five sets for the right to play Murray next.
A 6-4 6-7 6-3 7-5 victory score line for Murray slightly belies just how tight and hard-fought the match was, as it had looked certain to go into a fifth and deciding set as the Bulgarian established a 5-2 advantage in the fourth set. The Brit rallied though and managed to claw his way back level at 5-5. On breaking Dimitrov's service game again in the crucial eleventh game of the set, his opponent reacted by crunching his racket into the ground, sending reverberations out that the people in the commentary box could almost feel. It was all going Murray's way as he served for the match with new balls and at 30-love it seemed that the end was near. Two rather tentative points later for Murray and his advantage had been negated at 30-30, as the Bulgarian chanced his arm with nothing to lose. Murray was not going to waste the opportunity though and held his nerve to take the next two points and with it the match.
He was thankful for a number of fortunate net cords that went his way at vital times in the match, as he expressed in his post-match on-court interview, although at this level it often seems that the players make their own fortune as much as it is handed out to them. The match-point was a crucial example of that, as Murray's forehand caught the top of the net but luckily for him dropped over the other side. #CelebritiesThe British number one now advances into an intriguing quarter-final match against Kyrgios, with most of the home crowd likely to be firmly behind the younger man one would expect. Nineteen- year-old Kyrgios was a big hit at the Wimbledon championships last year, where he beat Rafael Nadal on the way to ultimate quarter-final defeat at the hands of Milos Raonic. He seems to be back in form after becoming the first Aussie for ten years to reach this stage in the men's singles in Melbourne. His last-16 victory was a tough one though, as he saved a match-point before overcoming the Italian Andreas Seppi after trailing by two sets to love early on.