Andy Murray Overcomes Pre-Match Nerves To Reach Last Eight At China Open - UBITENNIS
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Andy Murray Overcomes Pre-Match Nerves To Reach Last Eight At China Open

The Brit reacts to his latest win in Beijing against his fellow compatriot.

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Andy Murray - (photo via Twitter, @ZhuhaiChampions)

Three-time grand slam champion Andy Murray has reached his first quarter-final on the ATP Tour in 12 months after prevailing in a all-British clash at the China Open.

 

The former world No.1 rallied his way to a hard-fought 7-6(6), 6-7(4), 6-1, win over Cameron Norrie. A player who is currently ranked more than 400 places above him in the ATP rankings at 69th. Murray is currently on the comeback from a second hip operation and has missed large chunks of the calendar over the past two years.

“Me and Cam (Norrie) has practiced together three or four times before we came to Asia. He was getting the better of me in all of the practices as well, so I was a bit nervous before the match.” Murray said during his on-court interview.
“I think in the first set both of us were a bit nervous and then in the second we were going for the shots a bit more. It’s always tricky playing somebody you know quite well.”

During the first two sets of the clash, there was little to distinguish between the two players. Who traded breaks in each set. In the opener Murray failed to capitalize on a 5-3 lead before squeezing way way through the opening tiebreaker. However, Norrie hit back in the second by taking advantage of some tentative play from his opponent.

After the cat and mouse chase, it was one-way traffic for Murray in the decider. Norrie’s unforced error count mounted and proved too costly to his chances. Two games in, a Norrie double fault handed Murray a break for 2-0. Minutes later he extended his lead to 4-0 after hitting a deep shot towards the baseline, which drew another mistake from across the court. From then on, it was only a matter of time before the win was Murray’s. Who sealed the win on his first match point after another deep shot forced Norrie to return the ball out.

“I tried to sharpen the points a lot in the second set. In the third I was trying to play more aggressively, coming to the net a lot more and trying to finish the points quickly because when we were playing the long rallies he was getting the better of them.” The reigning Olympic champion commented about his tactics against Norrie.
“I was getting tired so I had to change the way the match was going.”

Murray finished the match with a mixed tally of 40 winners and 40 unforced errors. His reward could be a potential showdown with top seed Dominic Thiem on Friday. Thiem will play China’s Zhang Zhizhen in his third round match later in the tournament.

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Ugo Humbert claims the first title of his career after winning all-French final against Benoit Paire in Auckland

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Twenty-one year-old Ugo Humbert beat Benoit Paire 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 7-6 (7-5) after 2 hours and 34 minutes in the all-French final of the ASB Classic in Auckland to claim the first title of his career.

 

Humbert has become the first French player to win the Auckland tournament. He enjoyed a great week beating Denis Shapovalov and John Isner en route to reaching the final.

Humbert earned the first break of the match in the second game after a double fault from Paire and held his serve with a service winner in the next game to open up a 3-0 lead. Paire broke back in the fifth game with a backand return winner. Humbert broke serve again in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead. Paire broke back in the seventh game to claw his way back to 3-4. Humbert earned three set points, when Paire was serving at 5-6. Humbert reeled off five consecutive points from 2-2 to claim the tie-break with three mini-break after a forehand error from Paire.

Paire fended off three break points in the third game of the second set before breaking serve in the fourth game after a double fault from Humbert. Paire saved a break point at 5-3 with an ace and closed out the second set with a backhand down the line winner.

Humbert earned an early break in the second game of the decider with a backhand crosscourt passing shot, before saving three break points at 4-2. Paire hit three consecutive backhand winners, as Humbert was serving for the match at 5-3 30-0. Paire got the crucial break in the next point, when Humbert sent a forehand long. Paire saved a championship point with a backhand volley winner in the 10th game. Paire held his serve with a backhand volley winner to draw level to 5-5. Paire rallied from 0-30 down in the 12th game to force the decisive set to the tie-break.

Humbert earned a mini-break on the sixth point with a forehand return to take a 4-2 lead and earned three championship points at 6-3. Humbert sealed the win on his third chance when Paire sent a backhand wide after 2 hours and 35 minutes.

“It’s a tournament of revenge because I have lost to four of five players I played this week. It’s a great improvement for me and I could not dream of a beginning for the season”, said Humbert.

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Andrey Rublev starts the year with back-to-back titles in Doha and Adelaide

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Andrey Rublev beat South Africa’s Lloyd Harris 6-3 6-0 to clinch the fourth title of his career at the first edition of the Adelaide International and his second title of the 2020 season one week after beating Corentin Moutet in Doha. Rublev saved all four break points he faced. He has extended his winning streak to 12 consecutive matches.

 

Rublev has become the first player to win back-to-back titles in the first two weeks of the year since 2004, when Dominik Hrbary triumphed in Adelaide and Auckland.

“I was not thinking about this statistic, but it’s an amazing feeling. I hope I keep improving. We will see what’s going to happen”, said Rublev.

Rublev earned the first break of the match in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead. The 22-year-old Russian player rallied from 0-40 down to hold serve for 5-2 in the seventh game and served out the first set 6-3 two games later.

Rublev started the second set with his second break in the first game. He got two more breaks before clinching the win on his first match point, when he forced Harris to a backhand error with a short volley.

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Benoit Paire sets up all-French final against Ugo Humbert in Auckland

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Benoit Paire battled past Hubert Hurkacz 6-4 6-7 (1-7) 6-2 with six breaks of serve to his ninth career ATP Tour final at the ASB Classic in Auckland.

 

Paire went up a double break in the first and seventh games to build up a 5-2 lead. Hurkacz pulled a break back after two double faults after two double faults from Paire. The Frenchman served out at love in the 10th game.

Paire went up a break at 15 in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. Hurkacz broke back at love to draw level to 3-3. Both players held on their next service games setting up a tie-break. Hurkacz cruised through to winning the tie-break 7-1.

After a trade of breaks at the start of the third set Paire broke twice in the fourth and eighth games to seal the decider 6-2.

“It was not easy. Not everything was perfect, but it is never easy against Hubert. He is a very good player and a tough opponent. I hope tomorrow will be better and I hope to enjoy the final”,said Paire.

Paire sets up an all-French final against his compatriot Ugo Humbert, who edged past John Isner 7-6 (7-5) 6-4. Humbert has reached the maiden final of his career after losing in the semifinal in Marseille, Newport and Antwerp in 2019.

Humbert and Isner went on serve with no breaks to set up a tie-break. Isner saved two set points from 3-6 but Humbert won the tie-break 7-5. Humbert started the second set with an early break to take a 1-0 lead. Isner saved five break points and held his serve at deuce, but Humbert won his final two service games at love to clinch the second set 6-4.

“I am really happy about this win. It was a great match. I returned very well and I played good on the key points. I am really happy to reach my first final”,said Humbert.

 

 

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