Andy Murray returns to action with Cincinnati Masters win over Gasquet

Andy Murray made the most of his wildcard entry to the Cincinnati Masters with an opening-round 6-4, 6-4 triumph against Richard Gasquet.

Andy Murray celebrates his victory, Image credit: Twitter

Andy Murray made the most of his wildcard entry to the Cincinnati Masters with an opening-round 6-4, 6-4 triumph against Richard Gasquet. The rain-delayed encounter at the ATP 1000 event marked a return for Murray after his withdrawal from singles event at the Tokyo Olympics with a thigh strain, although he did play in the doubles alongside Joe Salisbury.

The Scot sent down 14 aces, including 10 in just the first set, to Gasquet’s three as the pair battled in Cincinnati. The 34-year-old won the tournament in 2008 and 2011.

ANDY MURRAY LOOKS CONFIDENT

“I was able to step in and control a lot of the points,” Murray told the ATP website. “When I play like that, I create opportunities and can put a lot of pressure on my opponent.”

He will next face the winner out of ninth seed Hubert Hurkacz and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

On a humid night, the two-time champion finished with 38 winners, including 15 aces, to Gasquet’s 20 winners. He won 81 per cent of first-serve points to his opponent’s 61 per cent and committed 28 unforced errors.

“I thought I did well. I moved pretty well for my first singles match in a while on hard courts,” Murray said. “Certainly, a little bit more confidence in my movement than when I played him a couple of years ago. It was my first match [in 2019] I’d played since [I had] the metal hip in so I was a bit apprehensive.

“He uses all the angles on the court really well and makes you move a lot so you need to move well against him and I did that tonight. I served good. I got a lot of free points on my serve. Took control of the rallies when I had the opportunities so it was a good match.”

It was Murray who held the advantage in the pair’s ATP Head-to-Head. He improved on that to 9-4 when he broke Gasquet to secure victory after one hour and 50 minutes.

“The courts and the balls are pretty fast. Obviously playing in the evening slows it down a little bit but that was to my advantage,” Murray said. “He played with a lot of spin and during the day the ball gets up very high but he wasn’t able to get as high on me today so I was able to step in and control a lot of the points…

“It’s amazing. They were saying it’s the 16th year I’ve been here. I don’t think I’ve played any tournament more than that.”




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Sportslumo Desk

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