Andy Murray advanced to the second right the first round of the Madrid Open after convincingly defeating Dominic Thiem, the 2020 US Open winner.
The outstanding Briton won the super high first round match 6-3 6-4 in his first ever match on wet clay since August 2020.
Thiem, the former world number three, is making a return after an eight-month layoff due to a wrist injury, but Murray proved to be the superior player.
“Keep going,” Murray implored Thiem as they hugged at the finale. It will take a long time, but you will succeed.”
“I hope you feel well soon, pal,” he said. It’s great to see you again.”
After Cameron Norrie, Dan Evans, and wildcard Jack Draper advanced earlier, the 34-year-old, who has had some his own well-documented injury troubles, really is the fourth British player into the second round.
Murray broke in both sets, with Austrian Thiem having trouble with his forehand in especially.
Thiem, who is presently ranked second 91st in the world, was simply playing his fourth or fifth match of the year after resuming his career in March, but he has yet to win.
Murray had intended to forgo the clay-court season, but after fully accepting a wildcard spot for Madrid last month, he changed his mind.
Murray said, “I haven’t played on it [clay] in around five years.” “After four weeks of training, I felt more at ease than normal.” I performed well. Dominic was playing a game well at moments, although he had clearly just recently been playing.”
Murray’s next opponent will be Denis Shapovalov of Canada or Ugo Humbert of France.
Meanwhile, Norrie, the current British number one, overcame sickness and an early setback to defeat South Korean Kwon Soon-woo. Norrie, 26, was broken in his first service game etc and trailed 4-1 in the first set before saving two set chances and defeating the qualifier 7-5 7-5.
Norrie, who will face American John Isner next, said, “I’ve been a little bit unwell, I sound like I’ve just had a packet of cigarettes.”
“However, I’m improving every day.”
“I was pleased us to even actually play here this week and was simply lucky to have a victory like this against the Soon-woo, who was confident and played well,” he told Amazon Prime.
In other matches on the day, Italian 10th seed Jannik Sinner defeated American Tommy Paul 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-4) 6-3, saving three match chances.
Meanwhile, Romanian former ranked number one Simona Halep advanced to the quarter-finals of the women’s tournament with a 6-4 6-4 victory against American 18-year-old Coco Gauff.
Halep, the 2018 French Open champion who is ranked unseeded in Madrid due to a series of ailments, is yet to lose a set as she regains form ahead of the wet clay Grand Slam at Roland Garros later this month.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.