Andy Murray will face Djokovic in the semi-final of Indian Wells
Andy Murray made it look easy once again against Feliciano Lopez winning 6-3, 6-4 and make it 10 wins out of 10 against the Spaniard to set up a semi-final clash with Novak Djokovic in the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. Murray has now won 497 times and has bettered fellow Brit Tim Henman as the most prolific male player of the open era. Murray did not drop a point in his first two service games but forced 12th seed Lopez to two deuces in his first and broke in the next for a 3-1 lead. A third love hold followed and though he finally dropped a point on his serve in the seventh game of the set, he was untroubled in wrapping it up 6-3. The Scot then broke serve in the opening game of the second and held his advantage, Lopez still having to battle hard just to hang in the match against an opponent he has never beaten. The odds will be stacked against him for the semi-final clash with Djokovic but Murray will still fancy his chances and the Scot said: “Against Nole you’re going to have to a play high-quality match, you can’t have any part of your game not working against him. He’ll obviously be fresh with a couple of days’ rest so it’ll be a tough test but it’s one I’m looking forward to.” A top tennis prediction will have the Serb as favourite especially in the best of three set format but one never knows at this level.
On another note American player Wayne Odesnik was revealed to have tested positive for several banned substances, including steroids, in out-of-competition checks during December and January. Normally, this would have earned him a two-year ban, but he had already fallen foul of the anti-doping code in 2010 when Australian customs officials discovered vials of human growth hormone in his luggage. The American was given a 15-year ban, easily the most severe doping sentence handed out by the International Tennis Federation. Odesnik, on his part announced his retirement claiming to have ingested a “contaminated over-the-counter product”. Few tennis betting experts or players will believe him and Murray tweeted: “Bye bye Wayne, Good riddance.”Murray though, is not the only player to have strong views on doping, Andy Roddick also tweeted: “I hate that he (Odesnik) has a US flag next to his name when he’s cheating”.
Odesnik, who is 29, is now ranked No 267 in the world, had stood as high as No 77 before his first drug conviction. He made more than £770,000 in prize-money in his career, although his income from events thus far this season will now be forfeited. Still, the thought that a cheat has made any money at all in this manner is a disgrace!