World No 3 eases to 7-5, 6-4 win over Fernando Verdasco even as defending champion Grigor Dimitrov is ousted
London: Andy Murray moved a step closer to a record-equalling fourth Queen’s Club title as the top seed defeated Fernando Verdasco 7-5, 6-4, while Grigor Dimitrov joined the lengthy list of star casualties. While defending champion Dimitrov was beaten 6-4, 7-6 (7/5) by Gilles Muller in the second round yesterday, Murray avoided becoming the latest big name to fall with a second successive straight-sets win at the Wimbledon warm-up event.
Andy Murray reacts after winning the first set against Fernando Verdasco. Pic/AFP
Dimitrov’s lacklustre exit against the World No 48 from Luxembourg came hot on the heels of Rafael Nadal’s shock loss to journeyman Alexandr Dolgopolov and French Open champion Stan Wawrinka’s defeat against Kevin Anderson.
Murray had been due to face Dimitrov in the quarter-finals on Friday, so the series of upsets leave the World No 3, who now boasts an impressive 22-5 career record at Queen’s, as the strong favourite to win the title ahead of his meeting with the unheralded Muller.
The 28-year-old last triumphed at Queen’s in 2013.