Andy Murray battles through to Gijon last eight

Andy Murray

Former World No 1 Andy Murray had to bank on his trademark fighting spirit to reach the quarter-finals at the Gijon Open.

Murray needed three sets and a third set tiebreaker to put away his unfancied foe.

Having lost the 56-minute first set, the former US Open and Wimbledon champion fought back to edge Argentine Pedro Cachin 2-6, 7-5, 7-6(3) at the ATP 250 event in Spain.

In their first ever head to gead meeting, the Scot raised his intensity and refused to go away, twice rallying from a break down in the third set to eventually seal his 25th tour-level win of the season after two hours and 49 minutes.

“I think I served well in the second and third sets. I fought very hard,” Murray said in his on-court interview. “In the first set I wasn’t playing my best and Pedro was serving very well for the first set and a half. I was really struggling to break serve. I changed the way I was returning to give myself more opportunities to break. I fought very hard to come back from a break down twice in the third set.”

Murray was consistent in slamming his flat groundstrokes with venom and hit 31 winners also committing just 19 unforced errors.

The Scot held his nerve in the third-set tie-break to advance to his fourth tour-level quarter-final of the season.

The 35-year-old, who is currently No 46 in the ATP Live Rankings, is aiming to win his first tour-level title since he triumphed in Antwerp in 2019.

Earlier this season, Murray reached finals on hard in Sydney and on grass in Stuttgart.

The 46-time tour-level titlist will next face either third-seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut or American Sebastian Korda.

In other action on Thursday in Northern Spain, fourth seed Francisco Cerundolo moved past French qualifier Manuel Guinard 7-6(5), 6-2 to earn his first tour-level win since July, when he advanced to the last four in Hamburg.

The Argentine, who lifted his maiden tour-level trophy in Bastad in July, will next play Austrian Dominic Thiem following his one-hour, 48-minute victory.

Murray is eager to finish his season well after suffering indiffirent form on the North American hard court swing.

He had reached finals in Sydney and then again in Stuttgart but has looked off the pace in the latter half of the season.

Murray is still in the frame to earn a seeding for the 2023 Australian Open.

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