Murray taking nothing for granted

Published: Thursday 2nd July 2015 by The News Editor

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Andy Murray admits past battles with Robin Haase prove he cannot afford to take the Dutchman lightly when they meet in the Wimbledon second round on Thursday.

Haase pushed the world number three to his physical limits at last year’s US Open and came close to forcing a fifth set, having won the third 6-1 before leading 4-1 in the fourth.

Murray battled to victory but it was not the first time he had experienced difficulty against Haase, after the Scot was taken to five sets in another meeting at Flushing Meadows in 2011.

It means Murray has won the pair’s last four meetings since Haase won their first ever encounter in Rotterdam in 2008, but the Briton will be taking nothing for granted against the world number 78 at the All England Club.

“I haven’t played him that recently, I played him in slams a few times,” Murray said of this second-round opponent.

“I played him twice at the US Open and had two very difficult matches against him there. I played him once in Australia, where I played a very good match.

“But last time I played him in New York, I don’t know exactly what happened, but I had terrible cramps from very early on in the match. It was a very tough match for me to get through, that one.

“He’s a tough opponent. He likes grass. He enjoys playing on the big courts so it will be tough.”

Murray came through a tricky first-round match against Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin on Tuesday but will have to raise his game against Haase, who beat Ivo Karlovic and Fernando Verdasco en route to the s-Hertogenbosch semi-finals last month.

The Scot spent an hour in practice with fellow Briton James Ward on Wednesday morning and then stayed out for an extra 30 minutes to hit with new coach Jonas Bjorkman.

The addition of Bjorkman has added fresh impetus to Murray’s game this year as the 28-year-old looks to seal his seventh consecutive win on grass and 22nd in 23 matches overall.

“It’s tough to beat a guy like Andy in the best-of-five match but if you’re getting close, of course you can win,” said Haase, who saw off Colombian Alejandro Falla in the first round.

“I was in the fourth set last year and even 4-1 up and then there were two long rallies with some smashes, and one I made a mistake and one I didn’t hit and he hit a passing shot.

“Then the momentum changed the game. If I could win that fourth set, you never know. It’s only one more set.”

Haase added: “I will try to find a weakness. I have proven that I have beaten him once.

“Maybe it’s a long time ago, but still, I beat him. I have also played a few close matches.”

Published: Thursday 2nd July 2015 by The News Editor

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