By Ros Satar
- Andy Murray [PR] def. Marius Copil 6-3, 6-7(7), 6-4
- Faces Ugo Humbert for a spot in his first final since Dubai in 2017.
ANTWERP, BELGIUM – Andy Murray is a win away from a milestone in his comeback as he faces Ugo Humbert in the semi-final.
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Andy Murray [PR] def. Marius Copil 6-3, 6-7(7), 6-4
With memories of the emotional win over Marius Copil in Washington still very prevalent in people’s memories, there were hopes that Andy Murray would dispatch the Romanian in short order s the prospect of a first semi-final at the very least, since 2017 (Roland Garros) was on the cards.
The start went well with an immediate break, and even when Copil hit back three games later, Murray responded by regaining the advantage straight away. Copil was unable to fend off a final break point as Murray sealed the first set.
The second set felt a lot tighter from both players with Murray again asserting his authority as he built up a 4-1 lead, but a shaky game as he served for the match opened the door for Copil to work his way back into the set.
The Romanian forced a tie-break and although Murray surged ahead for a 4-1 lead in the tie-break and later a match-point at 7-6, the tide turned with Copil rewarded for his persistence, claiming the second set.
The third set started very competitively, with the first sniff of a tie-break for Murray which went unconverted. He got his reward a couple of games later as he broke in the penultimate game, before closing out a tough match, but thankfully not as tough as the last encounter.
As reported by ATPTour.com, Murray said in his on-court interview: “I haven’t played loads of matches the past few years, so when you get to the end of the match, it’s always difficult to serve it out. I played a bad game at 5-3 in the second set and after that I think he gained a lot of confidence. He served extremely well. He was being a lot more aggressive at the end of the second set and in the third, but thankfully I managed to get the break right at the end. It was a tough one to get through.”
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Murray v Ugo Humbert | First Meeting
Next up for Murray is #NextGenATP’s Ugo Humbert. The Frenchman also had a tough fight to reach his third ATP Tour semi-final this year and helps his case to qualify for a maiden appearance at the Next Gen ATP Finals in Milan. Currently in eighth place in the Race to Milan, a win would see him move up to seventh, but he has a resurgent Murray to contend with.
As it stands, unless Murray gets a call to head home for the impeding birth of his third child, he will come out to bid for a spot in his first final since Dubai 2017. He will get moved around a lot by a player who plays a solid offensive game and likes to come in for the volley, so expect to see Murray try and relive that sublime winning lob in Belgium once more as he looks to pit his years of experience against the 21-year-old Frenchman.
Humbert’s form has seen him drop down to the Challenger events for a little match-winning confidence since a first round loss at the US Open, and this is his best run since reaching the semi-final in Newport.
Prediction: Murray in straight sets.
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