Andy Murray produced a vintage performance to reach the second round in Cincinnati with a straight sets win over Richard Gasquet. There were some entertaining rallies early on as the Frenchman created four break point opportunities in his opening two return games. However it was Murray who produce some big serving on clutch points and eventually would break Gasquet on his sixth break point of the set.
Creating wonderful angles and using good variety helped Murray to get into a dominant position in the set. However there would be a slight blip in the Brit’s magnificent display as Gasquet took advantage of some rustiness from Murray as he broke to love in the ninth game to put the set back on serve. However the three-time grand slam champion responded strongly and broke again to take the opening set.
The second set would produce the complete opposite to the first set with both players being unchallenged on serve as there was some clean ball-striking on serve. However Murray’s champion instincts took over as the Brit created the only break points of the set in the tenth game and took his second break point to seal a good opening victory in Cincinnati.
Andy Murray [WC] v Hubert Hurkacz  H2H & Match Fundamentals
Hurkacz’s semi-final run at Wimbledon has sparked some life into his overall game with the Pole pushing Medvedev all the way in Toronto. Hurkacz’s idol was Murray growing up and that’s easy to see with the return stance and the way he likes to dominate on his return games.
Murray will need to serve well and find a way to disrupt Hurkacz’s unique style of play especially preventing him from coming to the net. This will be the Brit’s toughest challenge of the season and the Pole’s consistency and unique hitting could be too much for Murray on these relatively fast Cincinnati courts.
Prediction: Hurkacz in three sets.
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John Isner def Cameron Norrie 4-6 7-6(5) 6-4, Diego Schwartzman  def Dan Evans 6-2 4-6 6-3
Meanwhile it was heartbreak for the other two Brits in Cincinnati as they both crashed out in the opening round. Cameron Norrie made a good start to his match against the big-serving John Isner after breaking in the seventh game of the opening set to take a one set lead. However he could not threaten the American’s serve as the Atlanta champion took the second set tiebreak 7-5 and broke at the start of the deciding set to seal victory.
As for Dan Evans it was a better display than recent tournaments but with the same result as he went out to 10th seed Diego Schwartzman. Despite having a break lead in the deciding set, Evans was broken in two consecutive service games as he still has no US Open series wins before the last grand slam of the season.
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