Andy Murray seals best win of comeback yet by beating top seed Jannik Sinner in Stockholm | Tennis | Sport
It was the first meeting between Murray and one of the game’s most exciting young stars.
Sinner has been one of the most successful players on tour this year, winning four titles – all on hard courts – making his maiden Masters 1000 final in Miami, and recently cracking the top ten for the first time.
The former No 1 himself complimented the young Italian ahead of their clash, saying: “Sinner has had a fantastic season. He was very unlucky to not make the final eight in Turin.
“He loves playing indoors on hard courts, so it will be a big test for me.”
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The pair were neck-and-neck throughout the first set, needing over an hour to reach a tiebreak at 6-6, with the only break point in the set going to Sinner when the 34-year-old was serving at 3-3.
After the pair traded mini-breaks, a double fault from the world No 10 when he was serving at 4-5 proved costly, as he handed Murray set point and the Brit secured another mini-break to take the opening set 7-6(4) after an hour and 15 minutes.
Murray’s momentum continued into the second set – he forced his first break point in the opening game, though Sinner was able to get a nervy hold, but it was the three-time Grand Slam champion who was the first to strike with the first break of the match during the Italian’s very next service game.
The second-set was much more one-sided in the Brit’s favour, as he forced more break points at 4-2 and, though he was unable to take them, took another break point at 5-3 to close out a 7-6(4) 6-3 victory in 2 hours and 15 minutes.
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It overtook the world No 143’s recent victory over Hubert Hurkacz in Vienna as the best win of his comeback.
Murray had beaten Hurkacz less than three weeks ago, when he was ranked world No 10, but the Pole was the fifth seed at the Erste Bank Open rather than top seed, and the Brit needed three sets to narrowly overcome his opponent 6-4 6-7(6) 6-3.
The 34-year-old will next face world No 52 Tommy Paul in Thursday’s (November 11) quarter-final, after the American overcame his compatriot and fifth seed Taylor Fritz in the second-round.
Murray is currently working with a new coach in his season-ending tournament this week in Stockholm.
The former world No 1 is undergoing a trial period with Esteban Carril, the man that led Johanna Konta into the world’s top ten, and to her first Grand Slam semi-final at the 2016 Australian Open.
He also trialled working with Emma Raducanu recently, but the US Open champion shunned the Spaniard to appoint Torben Beltz as her new full-time coach instead, as the German led Angelique Kerber to two Grand Slam titles and the world No 1 ranking.
“It’s another person with a fresh set of eyes and with a good reputation and good experience. That’s why I wanted to try it out and see how it goes,” Murray said of his trial period with Carril earlier this week.
The partnership seems to be working, with Murray through to his second quarter-final in two years, having also made the last-eight at the Moselle Open a couple of months ago.
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