ANTWERP, BELGIUM – Andy Murray makes another quarter-final, and next up for him will be a chance to lay the demons of the emotions over his epic victory last time over Marius Copil.
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Andy Murray [PR] def. Pablo Cuevas  6-4, 6-3
Former World No. 1 Andy Murray continued his comeback, and winning ways as he held off the challenge of No. 8 seed Pablo Cuevas to reach another quarter-final in this section of the season. It might have felt quite a grind though, despite the straight sets score-line with Murray’s first eight break point chances in the first four games all being thwarted by the Uruguayan.
As it was he only needed one set point to break for the first set. Cuevas did put up a flurry of resistance at the start of the second set, failing to make good on his four chances to break Murray for an early lead, and eventually the Brit wore him down for a single break mid-set to comfortably close out the match with that one advantage.
As reported in ATPTour.com, Murray said, after the match: “I felt a bit better today. I thought I served quite well for most of the match and when I was able to get into the baseline rallies, I felt I was hitting the ball quite clean, which is good. He served very well, which made it difficult for me to get the breaks, but I thought for me it was a good match.”
He continued: “It sometimes takes me a little bit longer to get warmed up in the matches and sort of feel confident with my movement. But today I think from the beginning of the match I started pretty well. It was a good day.”
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Few can forget the emotional outpouring from Murray after an epic encounter with Marius Copil which lasted a little over three hours, and finished at 3:02am in Washington at the Citi Open last year. It was a stark site to watch Murray sobbing into a towel, and he admitted on court that he was struggling with his hip and it certainly felt to many watching that this could be the beginning of the end.
He was able to handily dispatch Copil in their first encounter in Madrid in 2017, but with his struggles, Copil’s tail was up and after taking the first set in a tie-break, Murray had to dig deep to come back from behind for the win in Washington.
Copil serves well and in the past operates on the slimmest of W-L margins but his performances this year have been a struggle at times this year. His best results this year though have come from indoor hard courts, and Murray is prepared for another battle.
Murray said: “I know him a little bit. He’s had some good wins this week. He plays well on this surface, so I’ll need to be ready for that. He serves extremely well, so I’ll need to return well.”
“If I play like I did today, then I’d have a chance. But that’s one of the things that’s difficult coming back is I would now need to play four days in a row, which is something i haven’t done yet. Hopefully I can answer some of those questions this week.”
The one worrying thing has been Murray shaking out his arm, as a few aches and pains replace the issues he used to demonstrate with his hip. He can expect to be made to stay out there for a while if he wants to reach a first tour-level singles semi-final on Friday.
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