Murray Beats Wawrinka in Cincinnati Open

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Former world number one Andy Murray won 7-6 (7-3) 5-7 7-5 in the first-round match against his rival, Stan Wawrinka at the Cincinnati Open.

With the win, Andy Murray sets up a meeting with fellow Briton Cameron Norrie.  

The victory on Monday, keeps alive world number 47 Murray’s hopes of being seeded at the US Open, which starts on 29 August.

Now the Scot will play Norrie after the British number one won 7-6 (7-5) 4-6 6-4 against Denmark’s Holger Rune.

Veterans show of strength

Murray and Wawrinka were the two players who most regularly challenged the dominance of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic at the top of the men’s game in the 2010s, leading to three Grand Slam triumphs apiece and long stretches inside the world’s top five.

Both have suffered with a catalogue of injuries in recent seasons, each fighting back from them in their twilight years to show their love for the sport has not diminished.

So it was fitting their fight and determination was evident again in an enthralling battle, lasting almost three hours and seeing both struggle physically.

Three break points were not taken by Wawrinka in the opening set and that hold proved crucial as Murray played superbly in the tie-break to lead.

Wawrinka only returned to the tour in April after 13 months out with a foot injury, which led to several breaks. 

Wawrinka’s focus dropped as Murray – who had not earned any break points until then – put the set back on serve without having to apply too much pressure.

The set became scrappy and Murray was broken for the second time at 6-5 as Wawrinka forced a decider.

‘It’s not been easy’

Murray said his body was feeling the best it had “in a really long time” but suggested his game had room for improvement.

“I would like my tennis to be better at times, because I’m still convinced that it can be better than where it is right now.

“It’s not been easy these last few years to stay fit and healthy and play enough tennis,” he said.

Looking to his match against Norrie, Murray said: “He is very different to how Stan plays, being a lefty.

“Flat on the backhand, heavy topspin on the forehand. We have spent a little bit of time on the court together, so there won’t be many surprises out there for me.”

British number one Norrie earned the first main-draw victory of his career at Cincinnati with a patient win over talented teenager Rune.

Norrie, ranked 11th in the world, lost serve for 4-2 in the opening set but instantly broke back to take the momentum away from his 19-year-old opponent.



BBC/Samuel Isaiah

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