After a poor outing against big underdog Paolo Lorenzi Saturday, Andy Murray kicked up a few levels Monday night at the US Open, hammering No. 22 seed Grigor Dimitrov 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 in the fourth round.
“I played extremely well, tactically it was a good match,” Murray said. “I served very well when I was behind in the game. I made very few errors and made it tough for him.”
Dimitrov sprayed 44 unforced errors while Murray was virtually untouchable on his serve early on, blasting a career-best 141mph at to finish of the first set.
“I served one at 145 in San Jose and the next day they recalibrated the gun because it was completely wrong,” he said. “Tonight is the fastest serve I’ve hit. I only did it once – I think it was luck.”
Murray didn’t let up on the Bulgarian who came in with high hopes after a turnaround summer and previous wins over Murray in Miami and two years ago at Wimbledon. But Murray was not in a giving mood on this night as the 2012 champion moved on to his 6th US Open quarterfinal.
“Obviously it’s a great experience for me to get out there and play a night match on Ashe,” Dimitrov said. “Obviously I’m very disappointed from the result. I feel I’ve been doing really well the past five, six weeks, practicing-wise, winning a few good and close matches when I had to.
“Obviously today I ran out of fuel I think physically and mentally. For sure I was a little bit overwhelmed to get out there, you know, playing that prime time match. Of course, it’s a great experience for me. Andy right now is the best player out there. Of course, he deserves all the credit today.”
Obviously Dimitrov just isn’t good enough against the best in the best events.
Murray will now face 2014 finalist Kei Nishikori who dominated Ivo Karlovic 6-3, 6-4, 7-6(3) to advance to his second US Open quarterfinal.
“My serve was much better today,” said Nishikori. ‘Able to hit a lot of first serve in. Third set, it was a little bit tight in the end. But, yeah, really good focus today. Happy with my win today.”
Murray has won seven of eight from Nishikori.
“I enjoy it here,” Murray said. “It’s an unbelievable court to play on and a fantastic atmosphere all the time. They are great conditions to play in.
“The next round will be a tough match. Kei has been to the final here and loves the hard courts. I played a really good match against him at the Olympics and I will need to do that again.”
Earlier, Juan Martin del Potro had his easiest outing when No. 8 seed Dominic Thiem retired at 6-3, 3-2 with a right knee injury.
It’s del Potro’s first Grand Slam quarterfinal since 2013 Wimbledon semifinal run. The 2009 US Open champion is ranked No. 142, but will already climb back into the Top 65.
“I didn’t expect to be in quarters in my second Grand Slam after my comeback,” del Potro said. “I’m doing in a good way because I’m playing good tennis. My level is growing up every day.
“I’m so glad to be part of the last eight in this tournament, and that I will have the chance to play another big challenge after tomorrow. Everything can happen. So I will try to be there.”
Del Potro also shook off any concerns about his left wrist.
“I’m not worried about my wrist at the moment because I’m practicing every day. I’m playing matches every day. My wrist responds in the good way,” he said.
“Now I have to hit my backhand even better than today for my next match. Here is a different surface than Wimbledon, so my slices doesn’t go too well as I did in Wimbledon. But I’m okay with my level. I’m hitting good forehands. My serve is working good. I’m looking forward to do a good match after tomorrow.”
Next for the Argentine is a rematch with Stan Wawrinka. The Swiss dropped a shaky third set to rebound and win in four over Ilya Marchenko 6-4, 6-1, 6-7(5), 6-3.
Del Potro ‘s leads Wawrinka 4-2 winning their last four including a 4-set win this year in the Wimbledon fourth round.
“It’s going to be good challenge to play against him,” Wawrinka said. “I’m excited to play against him in the quarterfinal here at the US Open. We play each other already this year at Wimbledon. He beat me. So it’s going to be a good match again.
“He’s playing really well. I saw him playing against Ferrer. He’s playing really strong. In Olympic also, is there, is beating the top guys also. It’s going to be difficult match. But for both of us I think it’s going to be important to try to dictate and be aggressive on the court.”
Tomorrow, Novak Djokovic returns against Jo-Wilfred Tsonga. Djokovic leads 15-6 and 5-1 in Slams. And in an all-French affair, Lucas Pouille will meet Gael Monfils. Monfils beat Pouille in five sets at the Australian Open in 2015.
US OPEN TUESDAY SCHEDULE
Arthur Ashe Stadium 12:00 PM Start
Roberta Vinci (ITA) vs. Angelique Kerber (GER)
Not Before: 1:00 PM
Lucas Pouille (FRA) vs. Gael Monfils (FRA)
Arthur Ashe Stadium 7:00 PM Start
Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) vs. Anastasija Sevastova (LAT)
Novak Djokovic (SRB) vs. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA)
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