Tennis

Andy Murray on verge of milestones: wedding, 500th win

Andy Murray, who plans to wed Kim Sears in Scotland on April 11, needs one victory to become the ninth active player with 500 wins.
Andy Murray, who plans to wed Kim Sears in Scotland on April 11, needs one victory to become the ninth active player with 500 wins. MIAMI HERALD STAFF

While The Scottish Sunday Express was publishing a story Sunday about the fiancée of ATP Tour World No. 4 Andy Murray “having a ball” and “trying out high-end drinks” as part of their wedding planning at the posh hotel he owns near his hometown in Scotland, Murray was busy winning another match en route to what he hopes will be his third Miami Open title.

Murray, who won the Key Biscayne tournament in 2009 and 2013, dominated Santiago Giraldo of Colombia with a 6-3, 6-4 victory Sunday.

“When I’m around the courts and stuff and playing tennis I’m not thinking about the wedding,” said Murray, who will wed longtime girlfriend Kim Sears in Scotland on April 11. “But when I’m back at the apartment with my girlfriend, we have time to chat about it. Tennis players are people, too, and sometimes we can actually have both — a personal life and job.”

Murray, 27, is doing exceptionally well in both. He’s making his 10th appearance at Miami, where he lives and trains part-time in the Brickell area. His next match, in the fourth round Tuesday against 17th-ranked Kevin Anderson of South Africa, could be a momentous one.

Murray needs one more victory to become the ninth active player and the 46th man in the Open Era to have 500 victories. The others: World No. 2 Roger Federer (1,012); No. 3 Rafael Nadal (720); No. 1 Novak Djokovic (623); No. 7 David Ferrer (621); No. 107 Lleyton Hewitt (612); No. 177 Tommy Haas (561); No. 18 Tommy Robredo (505); and No. 9 Tomas Berdynch (504).

“It’s nice, because when you see the list of the players that have won that many matches, you know there [aren’t] loads,” Murray said. “Hopefully, I can win some more throughout my career. Maybe it doesn’t happen in a couple of days — I hope it does.

“It’s not easy these days to win that many matches.”

It took Murray 1 hour 24 minutes to defeat 31st-ranked Giraldo, who saved two match points before he finally succumbed.

“He pressed a lot, pushed my second serve,” said Giraldo, 27, who said he loves Miami because of all the Colombians who support him. “It was a strange match. I didn’t find my rhythm very well.”

Murray’s next opponent could be a lot tougher. The 6-8 Anderson, a powerful server who has a home about 90 minutes north of Miami in the tiny town of Gulf Stream, is 1-3 against Murray but battled him to a 7-6, 4-6, 4-6 loss last year in Valencia, Spain. Murray went on to win the tournament.

“The last one in Valencia was a pretty long and tough match,” said Anderson, who defeated Leonardo Mayer of Argentina 6-4, 6-4 on Sunday. “I’m going to have to come out aggressive but be patient as well. If you’re too aggressive at the wrong [times], he definitely makes you pay.”

Murray said Anderson’s acclimation to South Florida will make the match that more challenging.

“He obviously plays and practices in this weather a lot,” said Murray, who opened the season by reaching the Australian Open final for the fourth time but lost to Djokovic. “I won’t have as much of an advantage against him.”

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