• Andy Murray [WC] def Hubert Hurkacz [5] 6-4 6-7(6) 6-3
  • Carlos Alcaraz def Dan Evans 6-4 6-3
  • Murray v Alcaraz | H2H: Murray leads 1-0
VIENNA, AUSTRIA – Andy Murray earned his first top 10 win in over a year with a three set win over Hubert Hurkacz as he now faces Carlos Alcaraz in the second round after the Spaniard’s straight sets win over Dan Evans.

 

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Andy Murray [WC] def Hubert Hurkacz [5] 6-4 6-7(6) 6-3, Carlos Alcaraz def Dan Evans 6-4 6-3

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Andy Murray has his first top 10 win since Cincinnati last year after outlasting Hubert Hurkacz in 2 and a half hours in Vienna. Murray produced some stunning tennis from the start of the match as he worked the angles with his cross-court backhand.

After having three break points saved in the third game, the Brit continued to apply the pressure on a conservative Hurkacz and eventually in the ninth game he broke as a stunning return forced a forehand error from the Pole’s racket. Murray managed to hold off a late surge from the world number 10 as he held to claim the opening set in 45 minutes.

Hurkacz came out more aggressive in the second set especially on return as he created some break point opportunities of his own. However some vintage points from Murray managed to hold off the pressure as both players played passively on the big points. The second set would eventually be settled in a tiebreak and Murray’s passiveness would cost him as he would have a match point saved and another Murray error a couple of points later sealed the second set for Hurkacz as the Brit would need to do things the hard way again.

Both players stuck to the theme of passive play at the start of the third set with both players breaking each other’s serve. However it was Hurkacz who would prove to be the more inconsistent of the two as a loose forehand handed the three-time grand slam champion a crucial break for a 4-2 lead. Murray once again made life hard for himself but after saving two break points closed out the match with an ace to seal the biggest win of his season.

Murray’s reward for a big win is an Indian Wells rematch with Carlos Alcaraz who dispatched Dan Evans in straight sets. In the opening set both players were figuring each other out as they broke each other on two separate occasions. But it was Evans who would falter when it really mattered as he lost four consecutive points from 40-15 up in the tenth game to lose the opening set 6-4.

The Brit bounced back in the second set with some aggressive groundstroke to get the early break but Alcaraz bounced back in style winning four games in a row to seal victory and set up a second round showdown with Murray.

 

Andy Murray [WC] v Carlos Alcaraz H2H & Match Fundamentals

Andy Murray [WC] v Carlos Alcaraz

H2H: Murray leads 1-0

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Murray now has an Indian Wells rematch with Alcaraz, in which Murray won in a three set epic.

 

Tale of the Tape – Key Stats (2021 – Hard)

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H2H:

Andy Murray (WR 156)

Carlos Alcaraz (WR 42)

Tournament Previous Best

Final (2014, 2016)

N/A

1st Serve %

57.8

63.3

Service Games Won %

83.6

77.1

Break Points Saved %

64.8

58.9

2nd Serve Return Points Won %

48.8

54.3

Break Points Converted %

43.5

42.8

Murray has been better on the clutch points on serve although the Spaniard has a more successful percentage when it comes to returning.

 

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Playing styles and prediction

Alcaraz’s big hitting from the back of the court caused Murray some problems in California a few weeks ago and the Brit will have to be aware of this once again. The Spaniard will be looking to finish his breakthrough season with a flourish as he looks to break into the world’s top 30 before the season is out.

Murray will need to continue to serve his margins well and be aggressive as early in the point as possible. The Spaniard’s returning was on top form against Evans and could prove decisive against a fairly conservative Murray. Now Murray has his big win the question now remains to be seen whether he can back it up.

Prediction: Alcaraz in three sets.

 

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