Murray overcomes family woes with win, enters quarter-finals
Andy Murray put a traumatic few days over the health of his father-in-law behind him on Monday as he beat Bernard Tomic to reach the Australian Open quarter-finals.
The British world number two ended the remaining home interest in the Grand Slam with a 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (7/4) win over 16th-seeded Tomic to set up a last-eight match with Spanish baseliner David Ferrer.
Meanwhile, Canadian star Milos Raonic, who was also shaken in his previous match by a high school shooting in his home country, impressively ousted the 2014 champion Stan Wawrinka in a tense five-setter. Raonic, bidding to broaden his game under new coach Carlos Moya, overcame the Swiss world number four 6-4, 6-3, 5 -7, 4-6, 6-3 and will face Frenchman Gael Monfils in the last eight.
There were questions how Murray would respond in his first match after his father-in-law Nigel Sears, Ana Ivanovic’s coach, collapsed at the tournament and was taken to hospital on Saturday. Sears was cleared to leave hospital on Sunday and fly home following tests. Adding to the tension of the moment, Murray’s wife Kim Sears is heavily pregnant and he has pledged to rush home if she goes into labour.
“Last few days were very, very tough. A lot of emotions, it’s been sort of changing all the time in my head,” Murray said on court moments after his win.
Spanish eighth seed Ferrer ousted America’s John Isner in 6-4, 6-4, 7-5 in two hours, four minutes to set up his crack at Murray in the quarters.
Monfils was left nursing a deep cut on his finger and bruising that left him unable even to hold a racquet as he went airborne for an unsuccessful baseline volley during his four-set battle with Russia’s Andrey Kuznetsov. Yet, the 29-year-old resolved to win 7-5, 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7/4) in two hours, 37 minutes.
Two-time champion Victoria Azarenka remained in ominous form Monday to surge into the Australian Open quarter-finals, as Chinese qualifier Zhang Shuai’s amazing Grand Slam run stayed alive - after beating American Madison Keys 3-6, 6-3, 6-3. Keys sustained an injury in her upper left leg which hampered her chances for a win.
Azarenka was too strong for Czech Barbora Strycova on Rod Laver Arena, storming through 6 -2, 6-4 to set up a last-eight clash with Angelique Kerber, who beat fellow German Annika Beck 6-4, 6-0.
World number one Serena Williams and fifth-seeded rival Maria Sharapova play each other in a headline last-eight clash on Tuesday, while fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska faces 10th seed Carla Suarez.
Johanna Konta joined them as she reached her maiden Grand Slam quarter-final. She prevailed in a three-hour, four-minute slugfest 4- 6, 6-4, 8-6 against Russia’s Ekaterina Makarova.