By Jake Davies

  • Andy Murray defeats Marius Copil 6-7 (5) 6-3 7-6 (4)
  • Andy Murray vs Alex De Minaur
WASHINGTON, USA – Andy Murray broke down in tears after coming through what was an emotional battle against Marius Copil to progress to the Washington quarter-finals.

 

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Andy Murray def. Marius Copil 6-7 (5) 6-3 7-6 (4)

Andy Murray came into this particular encounter with two important match-wins under his belt. Coming from behind to beat Mackenzie McDonald and then outlasting British No.1 Kyle Edmund, but this was a match where Murray was heavily favoured, but he had to fend off a flurry of forehand and backhand winners from Copil to begin with.

The first set was a tough watch as Murray saw himself repeatedly on the back foot and consistently watching Copil unload on big forehand winners and racking up the ace count on serve. The Romanian’s poor play on the big points in the first set is what ultimately made the set of tennis such a close one, but the World No.93 rallied back from a 0-5 deficit in the first set tiebreak, claiming the next seven points to put Murray momentarily on the ropes.

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It was a champions reaction from the former World No.1. Very reminiscent to the way he responded against Edmund, he started to move inside the baseline and take on his shots with a bit more intent and he got the due reward for the adjustment to his game. Murray recognised he had to prevent the aggressive player from playing his usual aggressive game, so Murray beat him with intent and beat him with depth. The final three games of the second set was Murray’s most convincing and comfortable of the match, but Copil was not going to give up the fight that easily.

Murray took the break in the sixth game of the third set to go up 4-2, but Copil quickly pegged him back with some inspired one-handed backhand winners. Murray demonstrated that even this early in his comeback that he is still prepared to dig deep and was not going to relinquish the position he held without sheer determination and capitalised on a few Copil second serves and his trusty backhand side appeared when he needed it as he claimed the most dramatic of wins and the most emotional of wins deep into a 3rd set tiebreak.

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Murray spent five minutes after the victory with his head in his towel breaking down in tears as he came to terms with what he had just accomplished so early into his comeback. The last thirteen months have been difficult for Murray, spending time away from the sport he holds close to his heart and never really knowing what it was like to experience such a long period away from competitive tennis. The competitive spirit he has displayed in his first three matches in Washington are indicative of just how much he loves to compete.

 

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Andy Murray vs Alex De Minaur H2H: First meeting

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Murray will need all of that and more in his quarter-final match as he is set to take on the determined and relentless teenager from Australia named Alex De Minaur. De Minaur really made a name for himself at the beginning of the year, due to his success in his home country and has experienced a successful year in his first full season on the tour. He is an efficient hard-worker from the back of the court.

He does not give any points away for free and prides himself on his ability to make his opponent beat themselves, which you could say is not too dissimilar to some of the qualities of Murray.

The limitations to De Minaur’s game is that he lacks the weight of shot in his groundstrokes to consistently push his opponents off the baseline, but that will come in time. I think that Murray coming back out and winning another match will be a tough ask against the young Australian. The recovery time is very limited to this point and I think that De Minaur is the sort of player that really will take advantage of any signs of frailties from Murray.

Prediction: De Minaur in straight sets

 

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