Andy Murray ended a good week in Italy, reaching the final
Murray was the top seed
Liam Broady made the final in South Africa
BIELLA, ITALY – Andy Murray travelled to Italy instead of Australia and was awarded a wildcard into the main draw. The Brit made the final, his first final at any level since winning ATP 250 European Open in 2019.
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Andy Murray had not been able to travel to Australia for the first grand slam of the still COVID affected 2021 season. Having tested positive for the virus, once he recovered and tested negative he was unable to find a workable scenario to allow him to prepare correctly once he got there. As a result, the Brit travelled to Italy and was awarded a main draw wild card.
The Brit was top seed and in the first round faced Maximilian Marterer. The German stayed toe to toe with Murray in the first set, forcing a tie break. Marterer got the better of the Brit in the tiebreak and took the lead. The top seed re-grouped following this, dominating play in the second set and levelling up the match. The final set saw Murray break the German to win his first competitive match in over a year. Murray moved into the second round 6-7(3), 6-2, 6-3.
The next round the Brit was against Italian Gian Marco Moroni. Murray, still shaking of the rust, managed to break the Italian in each set. Only one break of serve separated both, however the Brit was progressing nicely along and moved into the next round in straight sets 6-4, 6-4.
In the quarter-final the Brit was against Blaž Rola. The Slovenian stayed close to Murray in the first set, however the Brit eventually secured a break of serve to move ahead. In the second set, things were much closer, as breaks were swapped and a tiebreak followed. The Slovenian actually had the better of Murray in the breaker and was leading by four points. However, the Brit had other ideas and kept fighting eventually pulling ahead to secure a spot in the semi-final 6-4, 7-6(9).
The semi-final saw the Brit against Mathias Bourgue. The Frenchman was overwhelmed in the first set, as the seed dominated play. Murray didn’t drop a game in the set. The second set however, was much closer as Murray broke the Frenchman, but was then broken back. Bourgue nearly secured the set, but couldn’t convert the set point. The Brit then broke to love the next game, following up by serving out for a spot in the final 6-0, 7-5.
In the final Murray was against Illya Marchenko. The Ukrainian had previously dispatched the second and fourth seeds en route to the encounter with the top seed. Marchenko got off to the better start as the Brits serve seemed to have deserted him in the first set. The Ukrainian broke the Brit twice and took the first set. Marchenko started the second much the same, breaking the Brit in the first game. Murray tried hard to fight back, however the Ukrainian was mixing up the shots, and hammering the ball. The Brit ultimately fell in straight sets 2-6, 4-6.
Liam Broady travelled to South Africa and entered the challenger event. After coming through qualifying the Brit was against fifth seed Brayden Schnur. The Canadian was broken by Broady in both sets and could not get back on terms. Broady moved into the next round in straight sets 6-4, 6-3.
The next round saw Broady up against Adrián Menéndez Maceiras. The Spaniard was broken by the Brit in the first set and not able to get back on terms. The second set was much closer. The Brit & Spaniard stayed toe to toe and forced a tiebreak. Broady dominated the tiebreak and moved into the quarter-final 6-4, 7-6(3).
In the quarter-final the Brit was against Tseng Chun-Hsin. Broady had very little difficulty in dispatch Chun-Hsin securing the break of serve in each set. The Brit went into the semi-final in straight sets 6-3, 6-3.
The semi-final pitched Broady against sixth seed Cem İlkel. The Turkish player stayed with the Brit in the first set and forced a tiebreak. Once again though it was the Brit who claimed the set taking the breaker easily. The second set saw Broady break the Turk to move into the final 7-6(3), 6-4.
In the final the Brit was against Benjamin Bonzi who was the second seed. Broady fought hard in the first set, and nearly forced a breaker, but Bonzi broke serve to take the lead. In the second set Bonzi once again broke the serve of Broady and won the title 7-5, 6-4.
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Challenger & ITF Round Up
Ryan Peniston was defeated by Elliot Benchetrit in the first round in Potchefstroom 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.
Jay Clarke was defeated by Ulises Blanch in the first round in Potchefstroom 7-6(5), 6-4.
Jodie Burrage was defeated by Nuria Parrizas-Diaz in the semi-final in Potchefstroom 7-5, 7-5.
Jan Choinski was defeated by Evgenii Tiurnev in the semi-final in St Petersburg 6-4, 6-1.
Arthur Fery was defeated by Hsu Yu-Hsiou in the first round in Sharm-El-Sheikh 6-2, 4-6, 6-2.
Daniel Cox was defeated by Petros Chrysochos in the first round in Sharm-El-Sheikh 4-6, 7-5, 6-4.
Jack Pinnington-Jones was defeated by Marko Miladinović in the first round in Sharm-El-Sheikh 6-4, 2-6, 6-3.
Paul Jubb was defeated by Marko Tepavac in the first round in Sharm-El-Sheikh 6-3, 6-7(2), 6-4.
Amelia Bissett was defeated by Julie Belgraver in the first round in Sharm-El-Sheikh 7-6(4), 6-3.
Stuart Parker was defeated by Yannick Mertens in the first round in Monastir 5-7, 6-4, 6-3.
Oscar Weightman was defeated by Giacomo Dambrosi in the quarter-final in Nur-Sultan 6-1, 6-2.
Matilda Mutavdzic was defeated by Laura Pigossi in the quarter-final in Villena 6-4, 6-2.
Next week Brits play in Australian Open, Phillip Island, Biella, Potchefstroom, USA, Egypt, Turkey & Tunisia
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