- Carlos Alcaraz def Andy Murray [WC] 6-3 6-4
- Felix Auger-Aliassime  def Cameron Norrie 2-6 7-6(6) 6-4
VIENNA, AUSTRIA – Andy Murray is determined to make a tournament breakthrough at some stage after his second round exit to Carlos Alcaraz in Vienna while Cameron Norrie’s ATP Finals hopes suffered a setback.
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Carlos Alcaraz def Andy Murray [WC] 6-3 6-4
Andy Murray once again failed to win back-to-back matches at a tournament after a straight sets defeat to Carlos Alcaraz in Vienna. The Spaniard earned revenge for the loss in California to the Brit as he sealed an early break in the opening game. The opening six games took 40 minutes with lots of gruelling rallies and with Murray needing to withstand the ferocious shot-making of Alcaraz.
Eventually Murray found success on return and broke back on his sixth attempt in the fourth game to level the set at 2-2. However Murray’s aggressive shot-making was inconsistent and not up to the level that Alcaraz was producing with the Spaniard breaking back in the next game. Another break at the end of the set secured Alcaraz’s first set returning dominance as he took the opening set in 65 minutes.
There was encouragement for Murray in the second as more aggressive patterns of play and superior angles gave him a break advantage in the third game. The three-time grand slam champion’s serve was also much more cleaner and with more accuracy as he took a 4-2 lead.
However the difference between the two players was consistency and when it mattered the most Alcaraz produced the big, powerful shots to expose Murray’s lack of consistent power. Four games in a row for the Spaniard saw him outpower Murray to set up a last eight meeting with Matteo Berrettini.
After the match, despite the disappointment, Murray remained optimistic about breaking through at tournaments again, “I’m not going to keep losing in the second and third round of tournaments,” Murray told the ATPTour.com.
“I will get better and I will improve and I will break through in one week, or two weeks, or a few months. It will happen. I obviously would like it to be happening quicker than what it is. But he did play extremely well and he’s a top young player and if you’re hitting single-digit unforced errors playing that way and with the power that he has it’s going to be tough… If I continue on that path and build up a little bit more consistency, be that little bit more clinical and a bit more ruthless I will start winning more and have some deep runs, but it’s tough.
“Draws have been hard, I’ve played in some tough tournaments. The draw was stacked here [in Vienna]. There were no easy matches here. It will happen sooner rather than later I think.”
Murray will now play the Masters 1000 event in Paris next week before ending his season in Stockholm.
Felix Auger-Aliassime  def Cameron Norrie 2-6 7-6(6) 6-4
It was also disappointment for another Brit as Cameron Norrie lost in three sets to Felix Auger-Aliassime. In a match that was crucial to ATP Finals qualification, it was Norrie who produced the better tennis in the opening set as a mix of pace, angles and depth caught the Canadian off-guard. Two breaks of serve were enough as he comfortably took the opening set in 30 minutes.
In the second set Auger-Aliassime waved off an early barrage of Norrie pressure to hold serve which resulted in him producing more aggressive tennis. Towards the end of the second set it was Norrie who had to produce big tennis in crucial moments to force a second set tiebreak. Norrie was dominating proceedings until he got tight when having three match points at 6-3. That was the opening Auger-Aliassime needed as he reeled off five points in a row with powerful winners to force a deciding set.
From the on it was all about the Canadian as a break to love in the fifth game was all that separated the two as the world number 12 now moves into the last eight. As for Norrie it now makes his job harder in Paris next week as he has to better Hubert Hurkacz and Jannik Sinner’s result in order to qualify for the ATP Finals.
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