Madrid Open 2023: Andy Murray falls to Andrea Vavassori in R1

The Italian blew a break lead in the second set, but held his nerve in the tie-break to earn his first ATP Masters 1000 victory.

Andy Murray in a file photo (image: twitter)
By Nilavro Ghosh | Apr 28, 2023 | 2 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

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Andrea Vavassori, an Italian qualifier, defeated two-time Madrid champion Andy Murray 6-2, 7-6(7) to advance to the second round. Throughout the one-hour, 33-minute match, Vavassaori served and volleyed, winning 76% (13/17) of net points. The Italian blew a break lead in the second set, but held his nerve in the tie-break to earn his first ATP Masters 1000 victory on his fifth match point. The 27-year-old, who has risen 23 places in the ATP rankings to No. 141, will next face World No. 3 Daniil Medvedev. Prior to his victory over World No. 52 Murray, Vavassori’s biggest win came in Marrakech against then-World No. 59 Nicolas Jarry.

“It is a dream come true,” Vavassori said. “To play at a tournament like this, in a court like this against a true champion like him. I have followed his whole career. He is a hero for everybody on the Tour. I think until the second half of the second set, I played the best tennis of my life. Then the nerves came in, but at the end, just joy.”

Thiem sets up Tsitsipas date

Dominic Thiem improved his record at the Mutua Madrid Open on Thursday, defeating Briton Kyle Edmund 6-4, 6-1 to set up a second-round match against Stefanos Tsitsipas. The former World No. 3 has reached the semi-finals in four of his last five visits to Madrid, and he looked in command throughout his first-round match against Edmund. Thiem struggled at the start of 2023, with his first-round loss in Miami last month marking his ninth loss in ten matches. He has, however, begun to find form on European clay, where he has won 10 of his 17 tour-level titles.

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“It was not easy in the beginning. First match on the centre court and I was mainly practising outside, so it is a different feeling,” Thiem said as per the ATP website. “I have known Kyle since we were juniors. He has been a tough opponent since the young days, so I went in with a lot of respect. I had some crucial moments in the first set when I saved the break points and then I released a little bit and it got better and better.”

Last month, the Austrian reached the quarterfinals of ATP 250 clay-court events in Estoril and Munich, as well as the second round of the ATP Masters 1000 in Monte-Carlo, to earn his first ATP Masters 1000 title since 2021. He improved to 6-3 on the European clay-court season with his victory over Edmund. The Austrian won 86% (24/28) of his first-serve points and remained strong under pressure, saving all four break points he faced to advance after 84 minutes and improve to 2-0 head to head.

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