Andy Murray cruises into Stockholm semifinals, calling David Goffin ‘very good’

Belgium’s David Goffin lost to defending champion Andy Murray 6-3, 6-3 in a closely contested quarterfinal in Stockholm.

Goffin had looked in charge in the first set and held two break points to take a 4-2 lead in the second, but he was unable to capitalize and Murray closed out the match.

“It’s difficult when you have someone as good as Andy, but I played the best game of the match in the second set, I felt,” said Goffin, who lost to Roger Federer in last year’s final. “It’s important to get back into the match and to be there.”

Murray, a three-time champion at the Stockholm Open, will play the winner of a third-round match between Sam Querrey and Alexandr Dolgopolov.

“I think I played a good match. He played very well,” Murray said. “It’s difficult to get out of the blocks against him because he makes you play some unforced errors, especially on the return, but I managed to do it today.”

Querrey eliminated Frenchman Benoit Paire 7-6 (2), 6-3 and Dolgopolov reached the quarterfinals after Igor Sijsling retired trailing by a set and 4-2. Dolgopolov reached the quarters last year.

The third-seeded Murray was seeking his 43rd career title, and Goffin a seventh in the Swedish capital.

Goffin won the first set despite suffering four double-faults in the opening game. The Belgian held off a break point and was able to hold in the ninth game before giving up his advantage at 1-2.

Murray picked up the pace from there, breaking twice to win the first set and 15 minutes.

In the second set, Murray clinched it in the 10th game after Goffin sprayed a backhand wide.

Querrey, who came from two sets down to beat Grigor Dimitrov in the second round, swept his first set against Paire 6-3 after a stormy start. The match, halted after one hour because of the fading light, continued at 11:30 p.m. and got to its conclusion in the early hours of Friday.

Querrey had 10 aces and hit 43 winners to the Frenchman’s 26.

Querrey and Dolgopolov played to a four-all tie in the second set, but the eighth-seeded Dolgopolov lost his opening service game and lost serve again in the sixth game.

Querrey was leading 6-2, 6-3 when Dolgopolov retired.

Querrey will play the winner of a later quarterfinal between Andreas Seppi and Philipp Kohlschreiber.

The 33-year-old Sijsling has struggled in 2017 after winning the 2012 Rome Masters and a career-high ranking of seventh in 2014. The 30-year-old Dolgopolov had reached the quarterfinals or better in eight of the past nine tournaments in Stockholm.

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