Murray Moves Past Bublik In Stuttgart

Andy Murray (photo: Florian Heer)

STUTTGART, June 9, 2022

Andy Murray has reached the quarterfinals of the BOSS Open, his first on the ATP Tour since January when he finished runner-up in Sydney. The 35-year-old Briton fought past No. 7 seed Alexander Bublik from Kazakhstan 6-3, 7-6(4) in the second round of the grass-court tournament on a mostly sunny but also windy day at the Tennis Club Weissenhof in Stuttgart.

Murray returned well and capitalized on three of his five break-point chances. The World No. 68 also showed his fighting spirit, as he saved three set points in the second set and rallied from 2-5 to eventually prevail after one hour and 42 minutes.

“Obviously, it was a Challenger last week but I got quite a few matches there. A couple of nice wins here, so it’s nice to be back in the quarterfinals,” said Murray after reaching the stage of the final eight for the second consecutive time after the Surbiton Trophy last week.

He had some great shots and also some you wouldn’t teach maybe,” the two-time Wimbledon champion commented on Bublik’s game. “He is predictable in his unpredictability. You are prepared for some amazing shots and then maybe some loose games. Today he played some amazing stuff for five or six games in the second set and everything was coming off and I was getting a bit frustrated, but I kept fighting. Held a tough game at 2-5 and I thought I played well through to the finish.

“Conditions were tricky out there. It was windy but not consistent wind. The court is very fast and playing an opponent with that style of tennis makes it difficult. At the end of the match I felt like I did well.”

Tsitsipas beats Stricker

Murray will next take on Stefanos Tsitsipas. The top seed of the ATP 250 tournament opened his title bid with a comfortable 6-3, 6-4 over Swiss qualifier Dominic Stricker. Tsitsipas saved both break points he faced and converted two of his own four break-point opportunities to advance in one hour and 10 minutes.

“It was good but I can still work a bit on the percentage of the first serve, which could be higher. Otherwise I was very involved with my footwork, was very active on the first ball after the serve, pushing my opponent back. It was a good match,” Tsitsipas said.

“Grass ranks among my favourite surfaces, it’s just that I am not used to play on it. Probably compared to other players it takes me more time to adjust to this technically different surface. I think that my game is built for grass courts. I can have good results on this surface. It might take a little bit of time but this is a process on which I am building. 

Asked about playing Murray in the quarterfinals, Tsitsipas replied: “Look, I am playing against one of the best grass-court players. I know he was out for a while but he seems to be very good and has had some good wins against my peers so far. His game is absolutely there. I don’t know about the movement but for sure he is one of the favourites for this tournament. He has had a lot of grass-court battles and a lot of good wins on this surface. So for me I just go out, enjoy and try to do the best I can.”

The 23-year-old Greek won the only previous meeting with Murray in the first round of last year’s US Open.

Otte ousts Shapovalov

In the bottom half of the draw, Oscar Otte celebrated the biggest win of his career by knocking out World No. 16 Denis Shapovalov of Canada 7-6(6), 7-6(4). In his only second career tour-level event on grass, the 28-year-old German outpointed his rival 77-75 after one hour and 38 minutes.

“It’s a big win for me, especially here in Germany. I am just super happy to be through. It was a pretty good match from my side. It means a lot. I am working so hard and I have improved over the last couple of months, so that I can make the next step to beat the big guys,” said Otte, who will next take on Frenchman Benjamin Bonzi.

In a match that resumed on Thursday, Lorenzo Sonego of Italy beat German wild card entry Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6(2), 7-6(4) to book a meeting with second-seeded Italian Matteo Berrettini. Sonego now holds a 13-6 record on grass, having lifted his first ATP Tour trophy on the surface at the 2019 Antalya Open.