Andy Murray in the second round of the 2022 Mutua Madrid Open, Spain
Andy Murray in the second round of the 2022 Mutua Madrid Open, Spain | Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

Tennis | Madrid Open 2022 | Murray ousts Shapovalov to set up ultimate showdown with Djokovic

By Tony Fairbairn

  • Andy Murray [WC] def Denis Shapovalov [14] 6-1 3-6 6-2
  • Murray v Novak Djokovic [1] | H2H: Djokovic leads 25-11
MADRID, SPAIN – Andy Murray ousted out Denis Shapovalov to win back-to-back matches for the first time since January to reach the last 16 in Madrid where he faces world number one Novak Djokovic.

 

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Andy Murray [WC] def Denis Shapovalov [14] 6-1 3-6 6-2

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Andy Murray won back-to-back matches for the first time since Sydney as he scored a massive win over Denis Shapovalov in Madrid. The Brit displayed impressive athleticism and movement throughout the match as the Canadian produced an error-prone opening set. Murray’s clinical returning matched with effective serving saw him put Shapovalov under immense pressure throughout the set.

Shapovalov produced unforced error after unforced error as two breaks of serve sealed the opening set in 36 minutes for Murray leaving the world number 16 with work to do. The second set was much more consistent from Shapovalov as he produced well worked points to set up powerful backhand winners.

After saving two break points in the fifth game, Shapovalov capitalised on an underwhelming service game from the former champion and the Canadian broke for a 4-2 lead. That was enough as Shapovalov’s serve was vital as he forced a deciding set in a match that would test Murray’s grit and mental fortitude.

Murray had to be patient for his opportunities as Shapovalov was producing his best tennis of the match. However in the end it was the Brit who won all the crucial points displaying his impressive court coverage and power. Murray would win the last four games, breaking twice, to seal his place in the last 16 in Madrid and more importantly a sign that consistency is on the horizon after a frustrating last few months.

 

Andy Murray [WC] v Novak Djokovic [1]  H2H & Match Fundamentals

Andy Murray [WC] v Novak Djokovic [1] H2H: Djokovic leads 25-11
Madrid Open Madrid, Spain
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Murray now has the ultimate test as he renews his rivalry with world number one Novak Djokovic with the pair meeting for the 27th time in their career.

 

Tale of the Tape – Key Stats (2022)

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H2H: Andy Murray (WR 78) Novak Djokovic (WR 1)
Tournament Previous Best Winner (2008, 2015) Winner (2011, 2016, 2019)
1st Serve % 59.4 61.7
Service Games Won % 80.9 76.4
Break Points Saved % 58.1 66.7
2nd Serve Return Points Won % 53.3 49.2
Break Points Converted % 34.2 37.9

Although Djokovic hasn’t played many events this year, the stats are still nearer to Murray’s level which shows the quality that the world number one is capable of producing.

 

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Playing styles and prediction

Having missed most of the season due to his vaccination status, Djokovic has started to play his way back into form as he reached the final in Belgrade a couple of weeks ago losing to Andrey Rublev. The Serb knows how important the next couple of weeks are in terms of preparation heading into his Roland Garros title defence.

This will be a test of fitness and conditioning for both players but especially for Murray who gets to test his rally tolerance against one of the best players in the world. Djokovic’s inconsistency gives Murray room to give the Serb a real test especially on altitude. However the Serb starts as favourite for this match and should pick up the victory in a match that is very important for both players for completely different reasons.

Prediction: Djokovic in three sets.

 

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