Andy Murray just keeps moving ahead in the 2015 Miami Open Masters, and today he beat Santiago Giraldo sending him to the fourth round. If the British tennis player beats Kevin Anderson on Tuesday he will become the ninth active player and the 46th man in the open era to reach 500 victories. The Scot surpassed Tim Henman’s mark of 496 career wins in Indian Wells last week, giving him the open era record for a British player.
Andy Murray dismantled Colombian Santiago Giraldo’s hard-hitting game to claim his 499th career win and reach round four at the Miami Open.
The Briton, seeded third, won 6-3 6-4 and will play South Africa’s 15th seed Kevin Anderson in the last 16.
Another victory would make Murray the 46th man in the open era to reach 500 match wins.
Murray, 27, lost heavily to Giraldo in Madrid last year but made amends in Miami, where he lives and trains for much of the year.
The Scot attacked his opponent’s second serve from the outset, breaking in game six on his way to the first set and then powering 4-0 clear in the second.
There was a late revival from the now free-swinging Giraldo, who saved two match points and broke serve at 5-2 and saw off another two at 5-4.
It delayed Murray but did not derail him, and the world number four finally sealed victory at the fifth attempt thanks to a net cord.
Looking ahead to a potential landmark win on Tuesday, Murray told BBC Sport: “Getting to 500 wins is a lot. There’s not loads of players that have done it.
“Hopefully it happens in a couple of days, if not then hopefully later on in the year I’ll win another match and have the opportunity to win many more.
“It’s a nice milestone to reach when I get there.”
Andy Murray will seek to attain a second match-wins milestone in less than two weeks, when he battles Kevin Anderson on Tuesday at the Miami Open presented by Itaú.
Ten days removed from taking sole ownership of Great Britain’s Open Era match-wins record in Indian Wells, Murray closed in on joining the ‘500 wins club’, dispatching Santiago Giraldo 6-3, 6-4 for victory No. 499.
“It’s nice, because when you see the list of the players that have won that many matches there aren’t loads,” said Murray. “I think there are only 40 or so players that have done it.
“I obviously want to try and win more, and hopefully still have quite a few years ahead of me left to add to that number. It’s a lot of wins. It’s not easy these days to win that many matches, so that’s a good sign.”
Murray would become the ninth active player and the 46th man in the Open Era to achieve the feat.
The two-time Miami champion (2009, ’13) moved into his fourth consecutive Round of 16 at the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event. He fired five aces and 19 winners, converting on three of five break chances.
“I played well,” Murray added. “I thought it was a good performance. I hit the ball pretty clean. He came out and started swinging a bit towards the end of the match and made it a little bit tricky, but I thought for the most part I played very well.”
The third-seeded Scot is off to a strong start in 2015, owning an 18-4 record following a fourth Australian Open final appearance (l. to Djokovic) and a semi-final run in Indian Wells last week (l. to Djokovic). He will seek a fourth win in five FedEx ATP Head2Head meetings against Anderson, having claimed their two encounters last year at Wimbledon and the Valencia Open 500.
Anderson turned aside Leonardo Mayer 6-4, 6-4 to open proceedings on Court 1 at Crandon Park. The World No. 17 moved into the fourth round for the first time since 2011, when he streaked to his first of five ATP World Tour Masters 1000 quarter-finals (l. to Djokovic). The top South African broke Mayer in the ninth game of both sets, earning the win after one hour and 29 minutes. Anderson won 83 per cent (33/40) of first serve points, capitalising on all three break opportunities.
Gael Monfils needed one hour and 34 minutes to end the comeback debut of countryman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 6-4, 7-6(4) at the Miami Open presented by Itaú.
Monfils closed the gap in their FedEx ATP Head2Head series, moving to 2-4 against Tsonga. The Frenchman’s lone previous victory came at the 2010 Open Sud de France.
No. 17 seed Monfils, who converted on two of three break points and saved four of five faced, is contesting his first ATP World Tour event since reaching the Marseille final last month (l. to Simon). Tsonga, who was competing in his first tournament of the year after suffering an arm injury, had a pair of set points on Monfils’ serve at 6-5 in the second set, but was unable to capitalise.
Monfils will face either Tomas Berdych or Bernard Tomic in his first Miami fourth round appearance since 2009 and third overall (also 2005).