Team GB’s tennis ace Andy Murray makes Rio 2016 quarter final after intense match

Wimbledon champion Andy Murray secured a quarter-final place after a dramatic thriller against Italy’s Fabio Fognini yesterday.

With blustering winds and loud spectators Murray emerged victorious after three sets — 6-1, 2-6, 6-3.

The world number two was tested to the max in an intense match lasting two hours and seven minutes.

Murray is now only three matches away from another Olympic medal and will play American Steve Johnson in the quarter finals later today.

Despite the 24-hour delay due to rain, Murray was in no mood to mess around, dominating the first game.

As the defending Olympic champion continued his triumphant streak throughout the first set, it looked as if Murray would defeat the Italian in quick succession.

By game four in the first set Fognini had already racked up 12 unforced errors and was showing signs of frustration and lack of control against the windy weather.

As the set progressed it looked like the 2015 Australian Open doubles champion had lost all the magic he had when defeating Murray in straight sets during a Davis Cup quarter final in Naples two years ago.

By game six of the first set the Italian secured his first win, taking the current set to 5-1.

As game seven got underway, Fognini began to show signs of life, producing sparks of brilliance, but it was to be once again Murray’s game, which won him the set 6-1 in 29 minutes.

Fognini had made a total of 18 unforced errors and a vast amount of mistakes in the first set, which were no good when playing against the powerhouse that was Murray.

In front of a rowdy crowd of 5,000 the second set got underway and it wasn’t long before the Italian began to remind Murray of the type of player who defeated him spectacularly two years ago.

Similar to his previous games against Argentina’s Juan Monaco, Murray again was having external issues which he addressed to the umpire and would later struggle to see the ball whilst playing in the deep shade.

With an ATP ranking of 40 in the men’s singles, Fognini, the showman who feeds off the energy from the crowd began to make vast improvements as set two got underway and secured the first game.

As the Italian became more fluent, yet jerky, Murray’s clear frustration was beginning to reflect his play as, venting his feelings in the form of rallies and slices in order to win the next two games, taking the second set to 2-1.

In the third game of the second set, everything started to change.

Fognini started to show more fluency in his performance and even flashed a winning smile, letting Murray know he is here to fight as he takes the fourth game.

The Italian starts to take control of the set, constantly making Murray run to the edges of the court and despite Murray’s good response it has Fognini who was the dominant player now as he secured yet another game.

As the Italian began to thrive, the British number one was beginning to flack.

Games six and seven fell into the hands of the Italian as Murray was making almost double the amount of unforced errors than he had in the first set and the transformation of the Italian within the course of three games was too much for Murray to handle.

At the start of game eight, Murray was serving to stay in the second set but the re-invented Fognini was just too much and took victory of the second set 6-2, a little over an hour since play began – Murray had already won his previous match against the Argentinean by this time.

The final set was soon underway with the victor landing a place in the quarter finals.

Murray needed to draw on his expertise after incurring 13 unforced errors in the majority of the second set, while Fognini needed to keep his momentum going and not fall back into his old ways.

The first two games of the third set proved to be an unsurprising victory for the Italian who had won the last seven consecutive games with Murray – who in the last two to three months seemed unbeatable was now looking to regain his lost form.

Entering into the third game, the atmosphere was picking up as the British crowds responded to the Italians with chanting and Murray began mirroring Fognini’s latest outputs, producing some of the best tennis from both men.

A disconcerting error from Murray during deduces saw the advances go in Fognini’s favour who then won the next point and invertible the third game of the final set.

With Murray’s mixed doubles ambition hanging in the balance, beating Fognini seemed to be the only way for him to claim another Olympic medal.

The fourth game saw Murray make a triumphant return, playing like his life depended on and successfully ending Fognini’s continuous winning streak and taking the set to 3-1.

Murray continued to work tirelessly, regaining form and fighting against the windy conditions.

With Murray on a comeback and securing yet another game win, the pressure of maintaining the lead began to take its toll on Fognini.

Despite Murray delivering some poor serves, the Italian was once again making unforced errors and losing the magic he had been shown throughout the second set.

Fognini was losing his cool and with the British crowd becoming more vocal, the Italian was entering into all sorts of problems.

It was soon all over for 29-year-old Fognini as Murray’s winning streak continued to dominate across the remaining games, securing him the third set 6-3 and ultimate victory of the match, winning 6-1, 2-6, 6-3.

Murray will now play America’s Steve Johnson in the men’s single quarter final at 4pm.

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