• Andy Murray won a gruelling three-sets battle against No.5 seed Alexander Zverev
  • He will meet Milos Raonic leading 9-3 in their head to heads. it will be their first clash since the epic 2016 ATP Finals semifinals
  • The Canadian served 23 aces to beat British No.1 Dan Evans
NEW YORK, USA – Andy Murray collected his 20th victory since his hip surgery in 2018. He will face Milos Raonic to seal his first Masters 1000 quarterfinal since 2016.

 

Andy Murray (GBR) def. Zverev 6-3 3-6 7-5

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Andy Murray won another gruelling battle, while Alexander Zverev had to face another frustrating, disappointing defeat. At the end of a topsy-turvy clash, the Brit clinched a three-sets win over No.5 seed. The German extended the list of his regrets at the Western & Southern Open where he suffered six three-sets losses to end his main draw appearances.

Murray was the most consistent player on court. He hit 16 winners to Zverev’s 31 and, more significantly, 31 unforced errors to 49. His forehand was definitely less efficient than his backhand and exactly the opposite was true for the German.

Int the end, it was a tough game and the details did the difference. Murray won one more point in short-range rallies and four more (11-7) in the longer rallies that needed more than nine strokes to be completed. The German struggled to impose his usual superiority in the mid-range skirmishes, from 5 to 9 rallies.

Above all, he continued to seem stuck in the middle of an unfinished process. His weaknesses are there to be seen, not a secret to himself and everybody else, unsolved. Also his strengths are there, always the same, always not decisive enough to protect the holes in his game.

Murray, one of the cleverest tacticians in the game’s history, elevated the power of his mind to move ahead, to pass another obstacle, to win another painstaking encounter.

He said, after the match: “I was moving pretty well at the end of the match. Definitely had
some lulls in there, like drop-off in intensity, a bit of energy at times. It was ridiculously hot at the beginning of the match, like unbelievably hot and humid.

“Obviously it was a big one to get through, I think probably a bit of nerves in there, a bit of fatigue. And, yeah, just of bit of rustiness, as well, I think from not playing and having to close matches out against top players for a long time, it would have been a tough one to lose.”

 

READ MORE | Tennis | Western & Southern Open 2020 | Konta ‘problem-solves’ her way into the third round

Andy Murray v Milos Raonic | Murray leads H2H 9-3

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Murray will meet Milos Raonic to seal a berth in the quarter-finals of a Masters 1000 tournament for the first time since the 2016 Paris Masters. That year, he and Raonic built what was supposed to be a rivalry for the ages. Both reached their peak that season. The Brit became the year-end No.1, crossing the Canadian’s path in the key stages of that campaign.

He prevailed in a five-set, four-hour thriller, in the Australian Open semifinals. He beat him in a couple of straight grass-court title-matches, at the Queen’s Club and more relevantly at the All England Club to seal his second Wimbledon crown.

In their most recent meeting, at the 2016 ATP Finals semifinal, Murray won one of the toughest matches of that year. He triumphed from a set a break down after a tournament record three hours and 38 minutes, saving one match point in a pulsating 20-point deciding tie-break.

Murray is taking every opportunity to improve that match-sharpness, no matter what the outcome, telling reporters: “[I] get another opportunity to compete tomorrow, and that will give me a good idea of where my body is kind of at. Tomorrow see how I feel. I will expect to be tired, but if I can push myself, I will try to push myself hard tomorrow regardless of the result, that would be — I said before the tournament started I wanted matches. You know, I got two pretty competitive matches in tough conditions. Obviously have another one tomorrow. Kind of been just the week that I wanted, really.”

The Brit is 9-3 in their head to heads, and he looked mentally ready to battle him again in New York. However, his racquet speed dropped against Zverev in the deciding set. If this should happen again, the Canadian won’t give him a second chance to survive.

Prediction: Raonic in three sets.

 

Milos Raonic def. Dan Evans (GBR) 6-3 7-5

Math was a bit part of Raonic’s life as a student. He grew fascinated by the rational, logical approach that numbers require. He managed to use the same approach to life, when others would have been felt frustrated or very emotional.

Used to rationalise, to keep the details of his career and the circumstances of his matches under control, he just needed to add ace after ace against the Brit No.1 Dan Evans.

The Canadian served 23 aces, 18 more than Evans. He never faced a break point and won 89 per cent of his points on his first serve. Numbers don’t lie.

 

Murray & Raonic are scheduled on Grandstand Court, not before 5pm (10pm BST).

 

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