US Open: Andy Murray beats Tsonga to reach last eight
|US Open, Flushing Meadows, New York|
|Dates: 25 August-8 September Coverage: Live radio and text commentary on Andy Murray's matches, plus commentary every day from 18:00 or 18:30 BST on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra|
Andy Murray saw off Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in straight sets to reach the US Open quarter-finals and claim his first top-10 win in over a year.
The Briton won 7-5 7-5 6-4 in humid conditions in New York, and goes on to face world number one Novak Djokovic in the last eight.
Murray, seeded eighth, extended his run of Grand Slam quarter-finals that stretches back to Flushing Meadows in 2010.
And he finally claimed a much-needed victory against one of the game's leading names in Tsonga, the ninth seed who had been enjoying a fine summer.
"Today was a good match for the most part," said Murray.
"I feel like I'm playing well. I'm going to have to play extremely well to win the event or even just to get through the next match.
"You never know what can happen in a couple of days. A week ago I didn't feel great at all.
"Obviously after the first match [when he struggled physically] was a big concern, and now a week later I'm in the quarters. A lot can happen in a few days."
|BBC tennis correspondent Russell Fuller's analysis|
|"Murray set the platform by dropping only three points on serve in the first set, and then took the initiative by attacking Tsonga's second serve when the Frenchman went set point down. The second set finished in exactly the same way, but only after Murray went into attack mode when 2-4 down. He had real fire in his belly throughout, and was unrecognisable from the man who lost to Grigor Dimitrov at Wimbledon. Djokovic will start Wednesday's quarter-final as a worthy favourite, but will not enjoy the ride if Murray can produce more of the same."|
Murray's previous top-10 win came against Djokovic in the 2013 Wimbledon final, since when he has failed to get past the semi-finals of any tournament.
That form, and victory in their last meeting in Toronto three weeks ago, gave Tsonga real hope that he could further improve on a 2-9 record against the Scot.
But Murray came out firing on serve and, as in their past encounters, continually pressured the Frenchman with his returns.
The 2012 champion dropped just three points behind his best serving of the tournament in the opening set, and took it with a clinical volley in game 12.
|Jo-Wilfried Tsonga||Andy Murray|
|Match time: 2 hrs 35 mins|
|59||1st serve %||49|
|64||1st serve win %||84|
|52||2nd serve win %||58|
|2/5||Break points won||5/13|
A great deal of Murray's recent struggles have centred on his failure to build on leads, and he let Tsonga back into the contest with a poor drop shot early in the second set, but the Briton responded impressively.
A sharp backhand winner created a second break-back point and Murray converted with a blistering forehand, that had both the player and his support team in the stands fist-pumping in unison.
With the adrenaline flowing, Murray raced through his next service game and, again, when Tsonga offered up a glimpse of the set, the Scot leapt on a return.
It was not all going his way and Murray berated himself, not for the first time, when he fell behind at the start of the third set, but a terrific backhand in game four took him to 0-40 and Tsonga obliged with a wayward backhand.
The Frenchman faced a long way back after two-and-a-half hours on a stifling afternoon, and he all but handed over the match with two double-faults to fall 0-30 down in a desperate service game.
Murray cracked a backhand winner down the line to earn three match points, and Tsonga sent a tired backhand over the baseline on the second.
"The only explanation for what's happened today is my opponent was better than me on the court," said Tsonga.
"I missed of course a few things, but at the end we have to play each point, and he was just better than me in these three sets."