LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 17: Andy Murray of Great Britain plays a forehand during his Round of 16 match against Matteo Berrettini of Italy during Day 4 of The cinch Championships at The Queen's Club on June 17, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Tony O'Brien/Getty Images)
Tennis | ATP Cincinnati 2021 | Andy Murray encouraged by ‘positive’ week in Cincinnati after Hurkacz defeat
Andy Murray couldn’t win back-to-back matches this week in Cincinnati as he lost to Wimbledon semi-finalist Hubert Hurkacz in two tight sets. Murray’s movement was tested to the limit and for the majority of the match passed the test as he lived with Hurkacz’s powerful ground-strokes.
Even though the Pole broke first for a 3-2 lead, Murray’s sharp anticipation and returns was on show as he immediately earned the break back to get back on serve. The three time grand slam champion had two set points to break for the set in the tenth game but some effective patterns of play ensured Hurkacz would hold for 5-5.
In the tiebreak some poor decision-making cost Murray as he went a mini-break down at 4-2. Hurkacz’s serving saw Murray frustrated as the world number 12 took the opening set 7-6(4). There was more encouragement for Murray in the second set as he remained within touching distance and once again had break point in the fifth game but Hurkacz ensured it would remain on serve.
In the eighth game Murray lacked decisiveness and that clinical edge needed as the Pole showed why he is one of the most in-form players on the tour this year as he broke on the fourth break point for a 5-3 lead. Some missed first serves from Hurkacz gave Murray hope in extending the match but the ninth seed held on to seal victory and a place in the last 16.
As for Murray he was encouraged by his level but admits there is more work to do ahead of the US Open.
“I thought this week was fairly positive,” he told reporters.
“My body felt good. The American hard courts are not easy on the body and physically I was a little bit tired after some of the longer rallies, but in terms of the pain and discomfort my body was really good. My tennis was better than at Wimbledon.
“It’s still not how I would like it but it’s difficult when you play against a lot of these guys now with big serves and you don’t get too many opportunities. That’s where the lack of matches can hurt you, because there’s not loads of rhythm out there, and you know you’re not going to get that many chances.”
Murray will now head to Winston-Salem next week where he has been given a wildcard in search of more matches.
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