Andy Murray reached another milestone in his tennis career on Tuesday night when he became the first Briton to record 500 career wins. In defeating Kevin Anderson 6-4 3-6 6-3 in the Miami Open on Tuesday night, Murray becomes the 46th man to reach the landmark since the open era began in 1968. Nine of that number are still playing and the fact the 27-year-old joins such exalted company is testimony to his consistency over the last decade.
Only Novak Djokovic, the world No 1, is younger than Murray in the prestigious '500 club'.
Murray, the third seed at the Miami tournament, beat his 6ft 8in South African opponent to reach the last eight though he had to work hard at times. "Kevin is obviously a huge guy and when he's on the front foot and attacking [it] makes things very tough," said Murray.
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The British ace now faces Dominic Thiem in the quarter-final and will start the match later today the favourite against the 21-year-old Austrian who is ranked 52 in the world. The Scot is gunning for his third Miami title having won in 2009 and 2013. With Tomas Berdych the only high-seeded player left in his half of the draw, Murray is on course for a hat trick of victories in the Sunshine State.
The British No 1 made his professional debut in April 2005 and earlier this month surpassed Tim Henman's tally of 496 career wins. He told BBC Sport that it was "fitting" he reached the 500 mark in Miami, a city where he is based for much of the year. He added: "I've been through quite a lot of pain on that court in the last few years…It's an amazing feeling and it's come very quickly. It's something I never really expected to do when I first came on the tour."
Asked how joining the '500 Club' would affect his tennis outlook, Murray replied: "There's different ways of judging the success of someone's career, but winning 800-900 matches is something that's happened very rarely and [is] a difficult thing to do, so it gives you something to aim at."
The British champion will do well to overhaul the man with the most career wins. That accolade belongs to legendary American Jimmy Connors, who between 1970 and 1996 won 1,253 matches.
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