Third-seeded Andy Murray of Great Britain defeated 30th-ranked Feliciano Lopez of Spain in a fierce four set outing Saturday afternoon at the 2012 U.S. Open, 7-6, 7-6, 4-6, 7-6. The Olympic Gold Medalist Murray will next face Canada's Milos Raonic, a 6-3, 6-0, 7-6 winner over American James Blake on Saturday night.
In the first set, Murray forced a tie-breaker, where Lopez would have led in the breaker; however, a bad call by a line judge reversed the score. Lopez hit a winning serve which was not returned by Murray when the line judge called the ball out. Lopez challenged the call and won the challenge, but was forced to replay the point by the chair umpire which he went on to lose. Murray was then able to hold his serve to win the first set 7-5 in the tie-breaker. The second set saw a repeat of the first, with it going to a tie-breaker which Murray would win once again 7-5.
“The last few sets were tough,” Murray said. “I just played a little bit better at the end of the tie-breaks, a little bit more solid than him, and that was the difference.”
Lopez fought even harder in the third with less unforced errors then in previous second set and was able to go up a break and win the set over Murray 6-4. The final set saw multiple breaks by both players; however, it once again came down to a final third set tie-breaker. In the tie-breaker, Murray was able to this time to out play Lopez's backhand to go up 6-4. He then served it out and won the set and the match 7-4 in the tie-break.
"It was a very tough match and it was a match that will hopefully put me into better form for future rounds," said Murray in a post-match interview on the court.
The 25-year-old Murray has been denied in four Grand Slam finals, counting two Australian Open final defeats alongside his disappointments in New York and Wimbledon. The 16th-ranked Raonic won his only meeting with Murray, taking their Barcelona quarterfinal match earlier this year.
“If I'm serving well, I'm hitting my spots, it's about making him feel as uncomfortable as possible,” said Raonic of facing Murray. “If I serve well, that's sort of what sort of happens. It's a ripple effect.”