Sony Open: Andy Murray sees off Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets in Miami
Last Updated: 26/03/13 8:37am
Andy Murray: Will face Italian Andreas Seppi on Tuesday for a place in the quarter-finals
Andy Murray overcame a lethargic start to book his place in the fourth round of the Sony Open with a 7-6 (7/3) 6-3 victory over Grigor Dimitrov.
The British No 1 - who could climb up to second in the world rankings if he wins the tournament in Miami for a second time in his career - is still yet to drop a set against the talented young Bulgarian in three meetings.
However Murray nearly saw that record broken in an opening set that saw the aggressive Dimitrov on top for much of it.
The 29th seed had troubled the reigning US Open champion in his very first service game and then recorded breaks in the next two, though he also lost his own serve in between.
Murray had to save two set points at 5-2 just to stay alive, meaning it was all on Dimitrov to serve out for the set; the task proved beyond the world No 32, though, his cause not helped by three double faults at such a crucial stage.
The let-off proved costly as Murray upped his game in the tie-break, some fine defensive work putting the pressure on his opponent. Dimitrov cracked, two wayward shots giving the Scot three set points - he only needed one.
The second proved much more routine for Murray, an early break putting him 2-0 up.
His biggest problem thereafter was serving out the match. He double faulted on his first opportunity and saw another pass him by before it proved third time lucky, Dimitrov dumping a backhand into the net.
The second seed will face Andreas Seppi, who defeated Brazilian Thomaz Belluci 7-5 4-6 6-2, next; the two have met five times previously with the Italian's only triumph coming on grass in Nottingham back in 2006.