Surbiton | Murray, Peniston and Burrage charge into quarters

The two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray was well tested by Gijs Brouwer in their second round match at Surbiton but finally came through a tight two setter 7-6(4) 7-6(3) to reach quarter-finals of the grass court Challenger event.

Today wasn’t my best performance, but I got to play lots of important points and deal with pressure situations that are not the same as in practice Andy Murray

The former world No. 1 is not only honing his game in preparation for Wimbledon, but is also chasing his first singles title on the surface since 2016 and, having breezed past Austria’s Juri Rodinov inside an hour on Monday for the loss of just three games, he found the Dutchman a tougher nut to crack at this year’s Surbiton Trophy.

The opening set was a battle of serves which was eventually claimed by the top seed in the tiebreak with an excellent backhand winner.

Murray then dropped his serve but was able to reclaim it in the next game as the serving battle continued with another tiebreak required to split them with Murray prevailing for a second time.

“My serving numbers were excellent throughout the match, like they were in the first round and that wasn’t the case at all during the grass-court season last year,” Murray said. “I struggled a lot with my serve then and it makes it difficult on this surface when you are not getting free points on serve.

“We have been practising off site at one of the other facilities where the courts are very different to here and I didn’t feel that comfortable on the court today in comparison to the first round. Certain things were still very good.”

As always, Murray said he needed to improve certain aspects of his game but believed the tough match would stand him in good stead during the coming weeks as he is also scheduled to play Stuttgart followed by Queen’s in his build up for Wimbledon.

“Today wasn’t my best performance, but I got to play lots of important points and deal with pressure situations that are not the same as in practice,” Murray said.

“I have done a lot of training, I have practised a lot, so now I need the matches. That is why I have entered in the next few weeks of events and hopefully I’ll get a bunch of matches and get me ready for Wimbledon.”

Murray, who will now face Brandon Nakashima in the quarter-finals, the American who reached the third round at Roland Garros where he lost to Alexander Zverev, admitted he is keeping an eye on the French Open and is taking inspiration from the achievements of both Rafa Nadal and Marin Cilic who will be in action this afternoon in their respective semi-finals – Nadal against Zverev and Cilic playing Norway’s Casper Ruud.

“I don’t know whether it is Rafa’s last run or not because he seems to be doing physically really well during the event, so I hope he is able to continue going for a while,” Murray said.

“Cilic as well, he is someone I grew up with in the juniors and played a lot with. He has just made the semis of the French for the first ever time at 33 years old and is playing really well.
“I can take some inspiration from those guys.”

Ryan Peniston fights his way into last eight

Steve Bardens/Getty Images

Murray was joined in the last eight by Essex’s Ryan Peniston who proved too strong for fellow Brit Jack Draper following his confidence-boosting first-round defeat of the second seeded Frenchman, Adrian Mannarino. The all-British contest had the crowd enthralled over three hours and 3-minutes, as Peniston outlasted his cramping compatriot 6-7(9) 7-5 6-4 victory that enthralled the Surbiton crowd for three hours and three minutes.

“It was a tough battle from the start to the finish. Yeah, it was a shame that Jack got some cramps in the end, but I thought the level was really good and he was fighting all the way and it was a good battle.”

In the women’s draw, Jodie Burrage followed up her previous day’s career-high win over third seed Lin Zhu from China with another impressive victory by taking out Ukrainian Kateryna Baindl 6-4 6-4 to storm into the quarter-finals.

”It’s been a really good day for me, I’ve played some really good stuff and I feel really confident and calm going into the next round. I’ve been working pretty hard behind the scenes on the physical side, on the mental side. I feel like my game has been there for a while, but those areas have needed to improve and it’s just nice to see the work that I’ve put in and get some results for it. It was a career-high win in that first round and I’m just really happy with where I’m at the moment,” Burrage, who is from neighbouring Kingston Upon Thames, said.

She faces next former World No.20 Mihaela Burzarnescu of Romania.

Jodie Burrage has another good day at Surbiton

Graham Denholm/Getty Images



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