Murray moves through; defeats Stan the Man

GIVEN the tennis world has been consumed by the ‘Big Three’ over the past two decades, it might be easy to forget the two who are perhaps the most unlucky from the dominance of Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Having shared in a number of Grand Slam victories in their own right, the two players seen as the ‘next best’, clashed at the Cincinnati ATP 1000 Masters first round in a throwback to a bygone era.

Great Britain’s Andy Murray and Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka went head-to-head in the Round of 64, a far cry from their days of competing in Grand Slam finals. Both have three titles to their name, with Wawrinka winning three of his four Grand Slam finals, and Murray unfortunately having a 3-8 record, all of which losses were against Djokovic or Federer. Overnight though, Murray was able to smile, getting home in an epic three-set contest, defeating Stan The Man, 7-6 5-7 7-5 in two hours and 58 minutes.

The pair combined for 21 aces and only four double faults, as Murray’s first serve success rate of 80 per cent trumped that of Wawrinka’s 71 per cent, though the Swiss talent had a higher 62 to 49 per cent off his second serve. Each player broke three times and in the end, just two points separated them in the match, with Murray winning 109 to Wawrinka’s 107 points. His third and final break of the contest sealed the win and booked his spot into the second round of the ATP 1000 event, taking on fellow Brit and ninth seed, Cameron Norrie.

“The court is pretty lively when the weather is like this. Physically I feel tired,” Murray said post-match, moving to 13-9 in their head-to-head. “I had some issues with cramp during the match, the same as Washington, so that is something I need to get on top of.

“I tried to take the ball on a little more and finish points at the net. I wasn’t that successful when I came up, but the intention was there. I was a little more offensive on the second-serve return. Last game I was just fighting, trying to find a way through.”

Murray said he would have to employ different tactics to try and overcome an in-form Norrie, who would present a unique challenge for the Grand Slam winner.

“He is very different to how Stan plays, being a lefty,” Murray said when looking ahead to his match against Norrie. “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.”

All the results from both the men’s and women’s Western & Southern Open tournaments are below.


Cincinnati – ATP 1000 | Hard

Round of 64:

[9] Cameron Norrie (GBR) defeated Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune (DEN) 7-6 4-6 6-4
Frances Tiafoe (USA) defeated [12] Matteo Berrettini (ITA) 7-6 4-6 7-6
[13] Diego Schwartzman (ARG) defeated Alex Molcan (SVK) 5-7 6-4 6-2
[14] Marin Cilic (CRO) defeated [Q] Jaume Munar (ESP) 6-3 6-3
[15] Roberto Bautista Agut (ESP) defeated Francisco Cerundolo (ARG) 6-7 6-4 6-2
Denis Shapovalov (CAN) defeated [16] Grigor Dimitrov (BUL) 7-6 6-3
[Q] Marcos Giron (USA) defeated [Q] David Goffin (BEL) 6-3 6-4
John Isner (USA) defeated Benjamin Bonzi (USA) 7-6 3-6 7-6
Aslan Karatsev (RUS) defeated Brandon Nakashima (USA) 7-5 7-5
[WC] Sebastian Korda (USA) defeated Karen Khachanov (RUS) 6-3 6-4
Andy Murray (GBR) defeated [PR] Stan Wawrinka (SUI) 7-6 5-7 7-5
Emil Ruusuvuori (FIN) defeated [WC] J.J. Wolf (USA) 7-6 6-2

Cincinnati – WTA 1000 | Hard

Round of 64:

Amanda Anisimova (USA) defeated [9] Daria Kasatkina (RUS) 6-4 6-4
Ekaterina Alexandrova (RUS) defeated [13] Leylah Fernandez (CAN) 6-4 7-5
Victoria Azarenka (BLR) defeated Kaia Kanepi (EST) 6-3 4-6 6-3
[Q] Caroline Garcia (FRA) defeated [LL] Petra Martic (CRO) 6-3 6-3
Veronika Kudermetova (RUS) defeated Barbora Krejcikova (CZE) 6-3 6-3
Petra Kvitova (CZE) defeated Jil Teichmann (SUI) 6-7 7-6 6-3
[Q] Tereza Martincova (CZE) defeated [LL] Nuria Parrizas Diaz (ESP) 6-7 6-4 6-3
[WC] Catherine McNally (USA) defeated Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR) 6-3 3-6 7-6
Alison Riske-Amritraj (USA) defeated Sara Sorribes Tormo (ESP) 6-1 7-6
Elena Rybakina (KAZ) defeated Mayar Sherif (EGY) 6-3 6-2
[WC] Sloane Stephens (USA) defeated Alize Cornet (FRA) 6-1 6-0
[Q] Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) defeated [Q] Taylor Townsend (USA) 6-4 3-6 7-5

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