Andy Murray bests qualifier to set tough Stockholm showdown
Andy Murray bounced back from a disappointing result at the Paris Masters to win in Sweden and face a difficult opponent in his next match.
The British star lost an extremely tense affair in the French capital to German player Dominik Koepfer. Murray failed to execute on seven match points before losing to the world number 54.
This week, the former world number one is making his career debut at the ATP 250 Stockholm Open, his last opportunity to pick up ranking points this season.
In the opening round, Murray faced world number 354 Norwegian Viktor Durasovic.
The Brit opened the set in fine form to build a 5-0 lead. Durasovic held once to avoid the bagel, but Murray claimed the first 6-1.
Despite securing a break in the first game of the second, Murray was pegged back on serve by the Norwegian.
Durasovic then forced a tiebreak to decide the set. After the Brit went a mini-break up he had two match points from 6-4.
It was a case of unwanted déjà vu for Murray as the Norwegian saved both to level the breaker at 6-6. An ace brought up a set point for Durasovic, before the Brit responded to level at 7-7.
A tense rally saw him eventually clinch victory after a little over 100 minutes on-court, 6-1, 7-6 (9-7).
As a result, the 34-year-old will face 20-year-old top seed Jannik Sinner. The Italian world number ten narrowly missed out on qualification for the ATP Finals in Turin.
He will be hoping to add a sixth career title and fifth in 2021 by winning in the Swedish capital. Murray and Sinner have never previously faced each other on the ATP tour.
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