Andy Murray is into his first ATP quarter-final since Antwerp 2019 after easing past Canadian Vasek Pospisil in straight sets. The Brit was dominant from the first ball with the slower conditions allowing him to redirect the groundstrokes into uncomfortable positions in the court. Despite wasting a break point in the opening game, Murray’s return pressure as a break to love in the seventh game was secured courtesy of a Pospisil double fault.
The Canadian was unable to implement his big-serving and big-hitting game style onto the court against an athletic Murray. The former world number one produced a flurry of deep returns to secure the opening set with a second consecutive break.
However in the second set, Pospisil came up with a new tactic as he came to the net more often and rushed the Murray forehand. A forehand unforced error from the Brit gave the Canadian an early break which he consolidated for a 2-0 lead. Murray would ramp up the intensity on return once again though later in the set with a break point opportunity being wasted in the fourth game as a result of a serve and volley from the former Wimbledon quarter-finalist.
However the three-time grand slam champion would break to love in the fifth game to get back onto level terms in the second set at 3-3. From then on it would be all about Murray who used a mixture of pace and depth to continue to force the errors from Pospisil’s racket. A backhand into the net from Pospisil sealed a four game winning streak for Murray who safely reached his first ATP quarter-final for two years.
Andy Murray [WC] v Hubert Hurkacz  H2H & Match Fundamentals
Murray will now face top seed Hubert Hurkacz who beat the Brit in Cincinnati five weeks ago.
Tale of the Tape – Key Stats (2021 – Hard)
Andy Murray (WR 113)
Hubert Hurkacz (WR 13)
Tournament Previous Best
1st Serve %
Service Games Won %
Break Points Saved %
2nd Serve Return Points Won %
Break Points Converted %
Hurkacz has the edge in overall service and returning statistics however Murray is better when it comes to converting and saving break points. The question is how the Brit can protect his serve against the aggressive Pole.
After a year dominated by his first Masters 1000 triumph in Miami and reaching his first grand slam semi-final at Wimbledon, Hurkacz would have been disappointed with his second round exit at the US Open. However a strong end to the season could see the Pole in contention for his maiden appearance at the ATP Finals.
In their previous meeting in Cincinnati, the Brit couldn’t win the key points and apply pressure when it really counted. On a slower indoor Metz court Murray will have more opportunities to implement his best tennis in key moments. This should be a tight match with Hurkacz’s rally tolerance improving and could make for some tight as well as entertaining rallies. Just because of the way he is serving at the moment, the slight edge goes to the Pole.
Prediction: Hurkacz in three sets.
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