Murray strolls past Benneteau


Published: Wednesday 29th October 2014 by The News Editor

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Andy Murray moved within one win of qualifying for the ATP World Tour finals as he brushed aside Julien Benneteau 6-3 6-4 in the second round of the BNP Paribas Masters.

The British number one needed just 71 minutes to reach the last 16 in Paris and should he advance to the quarter-finals, his place at the O2 Arena will be secure.

Murray opened with an emphatic love hold and was gifted an immediate break by three Benneteau double faults, including on break point.

The Frenchman finally got on the board in his next service game but Murray went to 4-1, having dropped only one point on his own serve.

Benneteau at least forced him to serve out the set but, facing set point, sent a forehand return long as Murray took the upper hand with minimal fuss.

He broke in the opening game of the second set and was two breaks ahead at 4-1, but fell 0-40 down after some strong returning from Benneteau.

He saved the three break points but gave up a fourth, which Benneteau took to cut the deficit.

Benneteau held serve to get back to 3-4 but at 5-4 Murray was serving for the match – and he finished as he started, with a love hold rounded off by an emphatic forehand winner.

Murray told Sky Sports 3: “The second set I didn’t serve so well, there was a period I think where I had one first serve in about 10 or 11 and let him back into the match.

“But apart from that period in the middle of the second set it was very good.”

As well as his O2 hopes, a return to the top four in the world rankings before the end of the season is not out of the question.

Back-to-back wins in Vienna and Valencia have taken Murray back to number eight in the world, having dropped in the rankings following back surgery, and he went into Paris trailing fourth-placed Stan Wawrinka by 1,090 points.

“If I was to do that it would be a great effort,” he said. “I’m still quite far, I think, from number four.

“Even getting into London would be nice. If I get there I’ll be very pleased, I’ve worked hard last these few weeks and won some very tough matches.

“Top eight would be good, but if I can finish in the top five, top four players in the world it would be a good effort.

“I had a lot of questions asked about my back and about whether I had the motivation to keep pushing.

“If I can finish close to the top four – someone like Wawrinka’s had a good year so if I can finish close to him it would be a good effort.”

Published: Wednesday 29th October 2014 by The News Editor

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