Andy Murray Into Last 16 After Victory Over Joao Sousa

By Lewis Wright
Jan. 23, 2016

The World Number Two celebrated his victory against Joao Sousa as he moved on to the next round in Australia.
Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

The World Number Two joined fellow Brit Johanna Konta in the round of 16 with an impressive four set triumph over his Portuguese opponent Joao Sousa (6-2, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2)

The first set got underway in much the same vain as is so often associated with the early stages of tennis matches. Both players looking to settle the nerves and ease their way into the contest.

We were on serve in Melbourne with both players competently keeping the match ticking over until the fifth game. Murray faced his first scare of the match as Sousa brought him back to deuce on the Brit’s serve.

However, what seemed like just minutes after securing his own service game, Murray went on to break his opponent in the sixth. And from that stage onwards the Portuguese was simply unable to find his way back into the set, as he was soon on the wrong end of a 6-2 score line.

Heading into the second set, Sousa soon proved to Murray and the crowd on the Margaret Court Arena that he was by no means out of the contest. The 32nd seed broke immediately in the second set and did not look back from that moment.

With the story of the first set along the lines of Murray playing efficient, yet effective tennis, in contrast to his opponent losing several points due to his own unforced errors, the second set was a story of roles reversed.

The British Number One was never allowed back into the set from the second he lost his opening service game as Sousa levelled the match at 1-1 (6-2, 3-6).

Set three was very much a return to the opening set from the moment the players left their chairs and returned to the court. Murray showed just why he is such a formidable opponent in winning point of the match and with it securing an early break to lead 1-0 before letting out a yell of ‘c’mon’ to express just what that game meant to him.

The balance of the match had been fairly equal up until and throughout the early stages of the third set, but the decisive moment came during Sousa’s third service game. With the Portuguese holding three game points, a mixture of unforced errors from Sousa and some exceptional tennis from Murray enabled the Brit to secure a double-break and effectively take the set and a 2-1 lead (6-2, 3-6, 6-2).

In what proved to be a fourth and final set, the pendulum continued to swing in Murray’s favour. In a near replica of the opening set, we were on serve at 2-2 before Murray switch into a higher gear and effectively eliminated any hope from the other side of the net.

The fifth game proved to be the end for Sousa as he would be unable to win another game from that stage in what was now a long time since he had been controlling the rallies between the two. It is important to note that this was not through Sousa’s performance levels dipping in any way, but rather Murray upping his game to a level that his lower-ranked opponent simply could not match.

Next up for Murray is a fourth round tie against one of two Austalian players in either Bernard Tomic or John Millman.