20/08/2022

Andy Murray beats top-five opponent for first time in more than five years

Hace 2 meses

Andy Murray beats top-five opponent for first time in more than five years

Rapid-fire victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas puts Briton through to Stuttgart semi-finals as part of late push for a Wimbledon seeding

Rapid-fire victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas puts Briton through to Stuttgart semi-finals as part of late push for a Wimbledon seeding

Andy Murray scored his first win over a top-five opponent in five-and-a-half years as he ousted Stefanos Tsitsipas from Stuttgart in straight sets 7-6, 6-3.

The result was a sign that Murray is applying his almost unparalleled grass-court nous, and it strengthened his chances of pushing for a Wimbledon seeding with just over a fortnight to go.

Tsitsipas and Murray had met only once before: in a tempestuous first-round match at last year’s US Open, where Murray complained that he had lost respect for his opponent because of the eight-minute bathroom break that Tsitsipas claimed at the start of the deciding set.

If that US Open blockbuster ran to almost five hours, changing direction regularly along the way, then this was a much more straightforward affair. Glowing in the German sun, these grass courts played so fast that the match only delivered a single break of serve in its 111-minute duration.

Andy Murray cruised through with relative ease Credit: AP

That came midway through the second set, and found Murray in vintage form as he moved to a 7-6, 4-2 advantage. He set the break up with a perfect forehand drop-shot – a collector’s item – and then finished it off with the same crosscourt backhand pass that seasoned Murray-watchers have seen him hit hundreds of times with devastating accuracy. “Once I was in the rallies,” he said afterwards, “I felt like I was dictating a lot of the points.”

It was a fair reward for a man who is playing well enough to worry the very best on his favourite surface. He has already climbed 15 places in the rankings by reaching the semi-final here, which leaves him at No53.

Were he to go on to win the title – for which last year’s Wimbledon runner-up Matteo Berrettini might now be considered the favourite – then he would have all but earned a seeding at SW19 before even starting next week’s Queen’s Club campaign.

Given Murray’s expertise in this part of the season, a seeding at Wimbledon would be a vital bonus, enabling him to avoid a potentially disastrous first-round meeting against world No1 Novak Djokovic. It was Djokovic incidentally, who became his last top-five victim when they met in the final of the 2016 ATP Finals at London’s O2 Arena.

Ver noticia en Trending

Temas Relacionados: