US Open 2014: Andy Murray eases by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in three sets to reach last eight
Last Updated: 02/09/14 5:19am
Andy Murray beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-5 7-5 6-4 to set up a mouth-watering showdown with Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals of the US Open.
The British no 1 looked in imperious form as he swept aside the Frenchman to record his first victory over another top-10 player since his triumph at Wimbledon back in the summer of 2013.
He has also now won 10 of his 12 meetings with Tsonga, who let slip a 4-2 lead in the second set and then missed the opportunity to take a 3-0 advantage in the third.
Murray, though, simply wore down his opponent in the intense heat in New York.
The eighth seed quickly warmed to his task on Arthur Ashe, losing just three points on his own serve in an opening set he claimed thanks to a break of serve in the 12th game just as a tie-break looked inevitable.
Things began to get a little sticky early in the second set, though, Murray finding himself under pressure on serve for the first time in the third game and responding with a drop shot that tamely landed into the net.
The Scotsman began to get frustrated, particularly when he failed to take the chance to level at 3-3, but did get back on terms in the eighth game when he powered a forehand winner into the corner.
Again the 12th game saw him step it up when the set was there for the taking, a short second serve by his opponent allowing Murray to go 2-0 ahead.
Tsonga - who had impressively won the Toronto Masters ahead of the final grand slam of the season - raised the possibility of extending the contest when he broke at the start of the third.
Yet he let the 2012 champion off the hook when two break points went begging in Murray's next service game, and that would prove to be his last real chance of getting back into the contest.
Murray broke back to love to make it 2-2 and then Tsonga melted under pressure at 5-4 when serving to stay alive, a pair of double faults putting him in early trouble before a backhand sailed long to see him beaten by his former junior rival in a competitive match for the first time in six-and-a-half years.
"It was extremely tough conditions, very humid. It started to cool down a bit at the end but the first two sets were very long, tough sets and mentally quite draining. I'm glad I managed to get through," Murray said afterwards.
Djokovic now awaits in a repeat of the epic final of two years ago - the Serbian saw off German Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-1 7-5 6-4 and is still yet to drop a set in this year's tournament.
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