FLUSHING MEADOWS, NY – Andy Murray didn’t just beat Canadian Milos Raonic in his fourth round match tonight.
He beat the weather too.
After splitting the night matches between Arthur Ashe and Luis Armstrong Stadiums and the weather calling for rain after 10 pm, the Scotsman was able to come away with a 6-4 6-4 6-2 win in two hours even.
The heavens opened up just a few minutes after the match ended.
“I know it just started raining just now, so it was perfect timing to finish,” Murray said. “I mean, when we got told the match was getting moved a bit earlier, it wasn’t so much the match getting earlier that was hard, it’s knowing there is possibly going to be showers and stops, which can disrupt the rhythm of the match and can make it tough, especially when you’re playing against someone with as big a serve as him. It’s tough to get into a rhythm, you know, when there isn’t sort of stops in the match.”
“I was glad I managed to get the match done before the rain came.”
Murray wasn’t perfect but he was dominating. Raonic could not break his service, but the Scotsman was able to handle the tough serve of the Canadian.
He played with ease as he was able to take a break in the first two sets. All he had to do was play his game.
“On this surface, against a big hitter like him, normally you’ll have to save some breakpoints,”
he said. “But I served really smart today, did a good job behind my serve.
“Did the same at the Olympics. You know, didn’t get broken the last three matches I played there. It was really important to serve well the deeper you go in the tournament. Conserves a lot of energy. The first round I served really badly, so sort of long baseline rallies. It’s physically tiring when, you know, you’re serving at 25 or 29% or whatever I was serving at in the first match. So I was happy with that.”
That’s the main difference with Murray this year. He is playing much, much smarter. He knows the conditions around him and how it will affect him. For example, he knows the difference between the surfaces between Ashe and Armstrong with the main court playing much slower.
It helped him with his strategy today with combating the big service game of Raonic.
“Sometimes conditions, you know, on that court, that court’s a lot slower,” he said. “If I played him on Armstrong, whether it was at night or during the day, I would have said that would have been worse than playing during the day on Ashe. You know, Armstrong is just a much quicker court, much tighter. And, yeah, I’m glad the match was on Ashe because it’s definitely slower this year.”
All of that knowledge puts Murray in the Quarterfinals of a Slam for the eighth straight time. Sure it pales in comparison to Roger Federer’s 34, but it’s a start.
“I’m glad my consistency has been better in them,” he said. “I have played my best tennis in the slams, and I hope it can continue. But, yeah, it’s not an easy thing to do, you know, to make eight straight quarterfinals. Roger’s made something like 34 consecutive quarters. You know, that’s an unbelievable record. But I’m happy with the way I’ve been playing in slams, for sure.”
Now he will face Marin Cilic in the Quarterfinals, as Murray looks for the elusive Grand Slam.
Heck, after beating the weather tonight, anything is possible.