Murray beats Hurkacz in Vienna Open first round

Published October 27, 2021
BRITAIN’S Andy Murray hits a return to Hubert Hurkacz of Poland during their first-round match at the Vienna Open.—AFP
BRITAIN’S Andy Murray hits a return to Hubert Hurkacz of Poland during their first-round match at the Vienna Open.—AFP

VIENNA: Andy Murray earned his first win against a top-10 opponent in 14 months by defeating Hubert Hurkacz 6-4, 6-7 (6), 6-3 on Monday in the opening round of the Vienna Open.

Murray missed a match point on Hurkacz’s serve in the second-set tiebreaker but the former No. 1 rallied from a break down in the final set to wrap up the win after more than 2 hours, 40 minutes.

It was the Brit’s first top-10 win since beating Alexander Zverev at the Cincinnati Masters in August 2020, and his first win of the season against a player ranked in the top 20.

Murray won the tournament on both his previous appearances in 2014 and 2016.

The result was a blow to the 10th-ranked Hurkacz’s chances of qualifying for the season-ending ATP Finals.

Hurkacz currently holds the eighth and last slot, but has only a slim lead over Jannik Sinner and Cameron Norrie, who also both play in Austria this week.

Third-seeded Matteo Berrettini advanced with a 7-6 (2), 6-3 win over Australian qualifier Alexei Popyrin.

Berrettini didn’t face a break point in the match and broke Popyrin at 3-2 in the second set before closing out the win on his first match point.

In other first-round play, Alex de Minaur downed 2018 champion Kevin Anderson 6-3, 7-6 (3); Carlos Alcaraz beat Daniel Evans 6-4, 6-3; and Nikoloz Basilashvili outlasted Pablo Carreno Busta 7-5, 4-6, 6-3.

Stefanos Tsitsipas and Zverev are seeded first and second, respectively, at the indoor event.

Published in Dawn, October 27th, 2021

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