Andy Murray in the first round of the 2023 Australian Open, Melbourne
Andy Murray in the first round of the 2023 Australian Open, Melbourne | (Photo by Andy Cheung/Getty Images)

Tennis | ATP Washington 2023 | Murray ousts Nakashima to set Fritz showdown

By Tony Fairbairn

  • Andy Murray [15] def Brandon Nakashima 7-6(5) 6-4
  • Murray v Taylor Fritz [1] | H2H: Fritz leads 1-0
WASHINGTON D.C., USA – Andy Murray ousted out Brandon Nakashima in straight sets to set up a third round meeting with top seed Taylor Fritz in Washington.


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Andy Murray [15] def Brandon Nakashima 7-6(5) 6-4

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Andy Murray is into the third round in Washington after a straight sets win over Brandon Nakashima. Murray didn’t have it all his own way though especially in the opening set as Nakashima was efficient on serve and looked threatening on return. The longer rallies did favour the Brit though who was using depth and variety to neutralise Nakashima’s consistency.

Both players cruised through the opening seven games but would have to endure tough tests on serve in the next games with Murray using some effective point construction to get him out of trouble in the ninth game. The former world number one then had half-opportunities to seal a crucial break, only to be denied by the American’s spectacular defensive shot-making.

After enduring another tough service game in the eleventh game, Murray would force an opening set tiebreak as neither player created any clear opportunities. It was a poor start to the tiebreak from Murray with some costly unforced errors conceding a 5-2 lead to the American. However you can never count out Murray and the 15th seed would reel off seven points in a row to claim the opening set in 71 minutes.

The Murray momentum would continue in the second set as he broke in the opening game but was forced to work hard to hang on to his break lead. Nakashima produced some incredible passing shots to create his first break point opportunities of the match in the second and fourth games. However Murray produced some clutch serving to save all five break points and take a 3-1 lead.

It was an incredible effort by Nakashima who hadn’t given up hopes of getting back on track in the second set as he created a sixth break point of the set while Murray was serving for the match. In the end, the Brit produced a forehand cross-court winner on his first match point to claim victory and a place in the last 16.


Andy Murray [15] v Taylor Fritz [1] H2H & Match Fundamentals

Andy Murray [15] v Taylor Fritz [1] H2H: Fritz leads 1-0
ATP Washington 2023 Washington D.C., USA
Hard (O) Prize Money: $26,905
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Murray’s will now face top seed Taylor Fritz, who is in confident mood having won the title in Atlanta last week.


Tale of the Tape – Key Stats (2023)

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H2H: Andy Murray (WR 44) Taylor Fritz (WR 9)
Tournament Previous Best Final (2006) R3 (2022)
1st Serve % 62 59.8
Service Games Won % 82.2 86.1
Break Points Saved % 61.9 64.8
2nd Serve Return Points Won % 49.1 52.5
Break Points Converted % 33.1 41.5

The match will likely be won on the second serve with Fritz having a superior break point conversion rate but has been unconvincing when it comes to winning points on the second serve, which is something Murray can exploit throughout this match.



Playing styles and prediction

Fritz enters Washington in fine form having won Atlanta last week, continuing his impressive form this season. However when it has come to the big events the American has simply not been good enough and the world number nine will look to improve that when he plays the US Open later this month.

Murray will look to be aggressive and dictate the tempo of the rally with the backhand, using angles to make Fritz move around the court. Meanwhile the American will look to continue his impressive serving and use depth to create shorter balls from Murray, therefore hitting efficient winners into the open space. This should be a good test for Murray to show where his level is at heading into the US Open with Fritz’s recent form making him slight favourite here.

Prediction: Fritz in three sets.


Tallon Griekspoor [12] def Liam Broady 6-4 6-2; Aleksandar Kovacevic def Cameron Norrie [2] 5-7 7-6(7) 6-4

It was a less successful second round meeting for Liam Broady and Cameron Norrie in Washington and Los Cabos respectively. Broady produced a resilient performance but was broken three times as he lost in straight sets to Tallon Griekspoor in a sensational performance from the Dutchman.

Meanwhile Norrie was in control of the majority of his match with Aleksandar Kovacevic before losing in three sets as Norrie lacked his usual clinical efficiency on return. Now Norrie will turn his attention to the Masters 1000 event in Toronto next week.



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