Andy Murray is into the second round in Metz with a three set win over world number 26 Ugo Humbert, earning him his biggest win for a year. The Brit started the match stronger being aggressive with his groundstrokes and putting pressure on the Frenchman. However the Frenchman would save three break points and hold as he secured a lot of tight opening service holds in the opening set.
Eventually it would be the ninth game which would be the key game in the set with Murray dominating the early exchanging including a vintage lob from the Brit. But on his first break point it would be Humbert who would seal the crucial break with an entertaining exchange at the net. In front of a packed French crowd it was Humbert who sealed the opening set with a smash to take the opening set 6-4 in 54 minutes.
In the second set both players produced well-constructed points with power and delicacy winning a lot of points as both players held serve efficiently. Eventually it was Murray’s returning pressure which prevailed and on his fourth break point the Brit would return a tough serve leaving Humbert to hit a forehand long as he would serve for the set at 5-3. After saving a break point, Murray nailed a cross-court backhand winner as he levelled the match at one set all.
From then on it was all about Murray as he dominated the cross-court exchanges and was using his defence to force errors out of the Frenchman. Humbert didn’t know how to make the former world number one uncomfortable on the court as Murray sealed an early 4-0 lead. In his last two service games, Murray would save five break points as he served out the match with an ace to seal a stunning win.
It’s his best win in the last year by ranking since beating Alexander Zverev in Cincinnati last year and moves into the second round in Metz.
Andy Murray [WC] v Vasek Pospisil H2H & Match Fundamentals
Murray will be playing someone with a similar break point conversion rate and 1st serve percentage in Pospisil on Wednesday. However the former world number one dominates the other statistics especially on the big points.
Pospisil isn’t in the greatest form in 2021 having only won six matches from 12 tournaments prior to Metz this week. However the Canadian still has a game to cause problems to any player with a big serve matched with big ground-strokes, Pospisil is more than capable of gaining big wins.
Tactically this should be a straightforward match-up for Murray having won four of their previous five meetings. However the real test for the grand slam champion will be how he will do competing in two consecutive days. Physically this match could be a test but if Murray plays anywhere near the level he played against Humbert then a first ATP quarter-final since Antwerp 2019 could be on the cards.
Prediction: Murray in three sets.
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