Andy Murray's return of serve was exemplary during his win over Milos Raonic, says Peter Fleming.
Last Updated: 06/09/12 4:38pm
Sky Sports' Peter Fleming says Andy Murray's excellent returning allowed him to conquer big-serving Milos Raonic and move into the US Open quarter-finals.
Murray, seeded third in New York, broke the Canadian world number 15 four times on Monday night en route to recording a straight sets victory and a last-eight clash with Croatia's Marin Cilic. Read the report here.
"Raonic's serve is scary big; it is one of the all-time great serves and in five-10 years' time people will talk about it in the same breathe as Pete Sampras', so for Murray to handle it as confidently and easily as he did says a lot," said Fleming.
"This was certainly one of the best matches I've seen Murray play; he wasn't stretched as much as he might have been had he played Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal but he played exhilarating tennis."
On Murray's meeting with Cilic, whom the Scot defeated on his way to this year's Wimbledon final, Fleming said: "It will be a different contest in the quarter-finals; Cilic will play more from the baseline and play more of a consistent game than Raonic.
"But Murray is a different player than when he lost to Cilic at the US Open (in 2009); he has a bigger presence, a greater belief in himself and he doesn't get rattled like he used to. Assuming that the weather is not 300 degrees, I would say that Andy is a very strong favourite.
"We have to [put Andy in contention to win] at the start of every Slam he plays because he is there or there abouts and he is playing superbly. Is he playing better than Djokovic or Federer? Not necessarily but he is certainly in top form.
"He is going to be a big threat to anyone who wants to win this event because the more he plays in big matches the more comfortable he gets and the greater the likelihood he will settle and play the way we know he can."
Fleming also had words of encouragement for the slain Raonic and reckons that with a bit of refinement, the 21-year-old can reach the top of the game.
"He will grow and matches like this one against Murray will help him," said the three-time US Open men's doubles champion.
"He will see that he needs to add a little nuance and needs to improve his net game a little bit so he can cover the screaming passing shots that guys like Murray can produce.
"He has got a lot of talent and just needs a little more development."