Andy Murray loses close tussle with Wimbledon semi-finalist in Cincinnati
Andy Murray pushed Wimbledon semi-finalist Hubert Hurkacz close in second round at Western & Southern Open, losing 7-6, 6-3.
The pair had never met on court, with Murray playing a solid opening round match against Richard Gasquet and Hurkacz playing some of the best tennis of his career in 2021, it was always likely to be a tight contest.
Both players served excellently in the opening set, sharing 21 aces. Hurkacz struck first, breaking Murray for a 3-2 lead before the Brit fired back with a break to love.
Murray fought hard to steal a crucial first set, but it belonged to the Pole as he dominated a tie-break to take it 7-4.
A similar pattern followed in the second set, both players nailing their first serves before following up with heavy, aggressive ground-strokes to hold serve comfortably.
Hurkacz made his move at 4-3, creating two break point opportunities which Murray saved with some excellent defensive work. The pressure finally counted as the Pole break before serving out match to book his place in round three.
The world number 12 was particularly impressive behind his serve, winning 39 of 48 points (81%) on first serve across the match and hitting 17 aces.
Meanwhile, Murray can take positives out of his two performances in Cincinnati this week. The Brit has a main draw wildcard at US Open, which starts later this month.
Hurkacz will face Spaniard Pablo Carreno-Busta for a place in the quarter-final.
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