Murray moves level with Henman

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Published: Wednesday 18th March 2015 by The News Editor

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Andy Murray moved level with Tim Henman’s British career-wins record after beating France’s Adrian Mannarino in straight sets at Indian Wells.

Murray eased past Mannarino 6-3, 6-3 in California to book a quarter-final match-up with Spain’s Feliciano Lopez who edged past Japan’s Kei Nishikori.

The victory means Murray has now equalled Henman’s 496 career wins, which represents an Open era record for a British man.

Murray was made to work hard by Mannarino’s aggressive ground strokes but the Frenchman was too inconsistent and Murray took full advantage.

A double fault in Mannarino’s first service game presented the world number four with a break point but Mannarino held his nerve on a high smash and sealed the game unscathed.

The first break of the match arrived soon after but it was Mannarino who took it, as this time Murray’s second serve went long to give his opponent a surprise 3-2 advantage.

A superb forehand pass from Murray in the following game, however, seemed to jolt the Scot into life as he won the next three games in succession to lead 5-3.

Mannarino continued to come on the offensive, pinning his opponent back with an aggressive forehand, but Murray was clinical on the counter-attack and sealed the first set in 45 minutes.

The second began as tightly as the first as Mannarino halted Murray’s momentum with two holds of serve and the world number 38 could have broken at 2-2 but squandered two break points.

Mannarino allowed his frustration to get the better of him in the following game and a wild forehand wide gave Murray the decisive break and a 4-2 lead.

With victory in sight, Murray showed no signs of letting up and another Mannarino unforced error at 5-3 allowed the Scot to convert a second match point and seal a convincing win.

Murray praised Mannarino after the match, admitting the 26-year-old had proven a difficult opponent.

“It was a very tough match, he’s playing very well this year and he’s got a very tricky game,” Murray told Sky Sports.

“He’s a lefty but he has a very flat backhand and a short take-back on his forehand so it’s hard to read.

“He moves well and he has good hands around the net – in both sets though he played one or two loose games which helped me and I stayed solid throughout.

“I was frustrated to get broken in the first set, I thought I started well but he came out firing.

“I tried to make a lot of balls and he didn’t play a great game in the next game and that stopped his momentum.

“I started to feel more comfortable after that and went for my shots more.”

On equalling Henman’s record, Murray joked: “That’s one of the few records Tim still had over me.

“I wasn’t actually aware of the record so that’s nice. Hopefully I can get through the next round and get past him.”

Published: Wednesday 18th March 2015 by The News Editor

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