Andy Murray wins Alexander Zverev’s epic, Milos Raonic awaits | ATP Tower

0
90


Andy Murray earned his first Top 10 victory in more than three years at the Western and Southern Open on Monday, beating world number 7 Alexander Zverev 6-3, 3-6, 7-5.The two-time champion (2008, 2011) was on the verge of defeat when Zverev served for the match at 5-4 in the third set, before rallying to win three consecutive matches and a third round berth. Murray ended the game with back-to-back winners, pulling a backhand return to the line to claim the win after two hours and 31 minutes.

“I don’t think either of us played particularly well when we were close to the finish line, but [that was] maybe to be expected since we haven’t played a game for so long, ”said Murray. “He didn’t serve so well in the end which obviously helped me but I fought hard and it’s a good effort to win that after not playing for a while.

Since his last Top 10 victory over Kei Nishikori at Roland Garros in 2017, Murray has undergone two right hip surgeries and had only played two matches against the opposition Top 10 before this victory. Murray’s victory over Zverev is his biggest win in terms of FedEx ATP rankings since his triumph over Novak Djokovic in the 2016 Nitto ATP Finals Championship game.

Zverev was aiming for his first victory at the ATP Masters 1000 event in his sixth appearance in the main draw. The German, who reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open earlier this year, will enter the US Open with a 6-6 record this season.

Murray won the only break of the first set in Game 4, covering the court with an impressive move to force Zverev to take risks. Serving for the set at 5-3, Murray attacked Zverev’s forehand and took a set lead when Zverev made his 16th direct error of the game.

After failing to convert three break points to 3-2, Zverev got his first break of the game two games later with a cross forehand return. The fifth seed tied the game in the next game with a confident serve.

Murray found his range on his return to 2-1 in the decider, breaking with a cross backhand return winner. But Zverev played with depth and consistency from the baseline to get back into the game and capitalized on a string of Murray forehand errors to serve for the game at 5-4. Back-to-back double faults gave Murray a run into the game and the Briton finished the fight two games later, winning his fourth break of serve with a winning comeback from the backhand.

The 46-round title list will meet Milos Raonic for a place in the quarter-finals. Raonic landed 23 aces to overtake Daniel Evans 6-3, 7-5.

Raonic, who holds a 9-4 record in 2020, will aim to reach his third quarterfinal of the year when he faces Murray. The 29-year-old advanced to the quarterfinals of the Australian Open in January and reached the semi-finals at the Delray Beach Open by VITACOST.com in February.

Murray and Raonic will play their 13th ATP Head2Head competition (Murray leads 9-3). Murray has won each of their eight most recent clashes, including the 2016 Wimbledon final.

“I played it a lot. [He has a] huge service. I saw a bit of the game today against Dan Evans. He serves well, plays aggressively, that’s when he plays his best, ”said Murray.

“We have faced each other in some big matches. We played at the US Open, in Cincinnati, at the Wimbledon final, at the Australian Open. He’s also had some injury issues so it’s nice to see him again.



LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here