Australian Open: Andy Murray hits out at critics

EVERYTHING seems to be going Andy Murray’s way in the Australian Open in Melbourne, but that did not stop the former Wimbledon champion from appearing to hit back at his critics on Thursday.

Andy Murray saw off Marinko Matosevic, but appeared to hit back at his critics after the win. Picture: Getty
Andy Murray saw off Marinko Matosevic, but appeared to hit back at his critics after the win. Picture: Getty

Murray enjoyed his second straight-sets win of the championship on Wednesday, beating Australian Marinko Matosevic 6-1 6-3 6-2 in just an hour and 42 minutes on Margaret Court Arena.

In contrast, two of his main rivals in the bottom half of the draw had problems of varying degrees, with Roger Federer the victim of a possible bee sting after losing the first set to Simone Bolelli and Rafael Nadal contemplating quitting due to nausea and dizziness before recovering to beat qualifier Tim Smyczek in five sets.

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However, it was the reaction to Nadal’s performance which apparently prompted Murray to take to Twitter on Thursday morning to write: “When I cramped and won in the us open last year I was a “drama Queen, unfit, needs to see a shrink, faker” weird...”

That was a reference to the US Open last August, when Murray was badly affected by cramp in a first-round win over Holland’s Robin Haase.

The phrase “drama queen” could be a direct reference to the same phrase used by former Wimbledon champion Virginia Wade, who criticised Murray’s behaviour in a second-round win over Jarkko Nieminen at the French Open in 2012.

There had been precious little drama in Murray’s win over world number 81 Matosevic, who tipped the British number one to win his third grand slam title next Sunday.

‘’He can go all the way, for sure,’’ Matosevic said. ‘’His seed, (Martin) Klizan, got knocked out which helps for the next round, and although he has a really tough passage in the second week with Federer, Nadal and whoever, I think he can do it. He can win it.

‘’That’s the best Andy’s played against me. He was good at the French Open when he beat me and went on to the semis and at Queen’s when he went on to win there and then Wimbledon, but this was pretty impressive. Andy’s one of the best right now, so it’s hard for anyone to get him.’’

Murray was due to face Klizan in the third round but the number 32 seed struggled in the heat on Wednesday and retired at the start of the fourth set when trailing 2-1 to Portugal’s Joao Sousa, the world number 55 who shares a manager with Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho.