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Tennis News – De Minaur Outlasts Andy Murray In Zhuhai, To Face Coric In Quarterfinals

By Ricky Dimon

Andy Murray picked up his first ATP-level win post hip surgery when he defeated Tennys Sandgren 6-3, 6-7(6), 6-1 on Tuesday at the Zhuhai Championships. But Murray’s run came to an end during second-round action on Thursday, when a red-hot Alex de Minaur prevailed 4-6, 6-2, 6-4. It was another grueling contest for the 33-year-old Scot, who finally succumbed after two hours and 42 minutes. His showdown against Sandgren lasted two hours and 41 minutes.

De Minaur earned the crucial break in the final set at 4-4, but Murray was not quite finished. The three-time Grand Slam champion earned three break points in the last game of the match but could not convert.

“Yesterday was the first time in my entire career that I didn’t practice the day before a match,” Murray explained. “I’m trying to maybe look at ways to give my body a bit of a break and a rest when I can, which is maybe something in the past that I wouldn’t have done.”

There will be no rest for de Minaur, who moves on to a first career meeting with Borna Coric on Friday night. Coric followed up an opening bye as the No. 4 seed with a 6-3, 6-3 defeat of Chinese wild card Di Wu 6-3, 6-3. Although de Minaur may be fatigued after battling Murray for two hours and 42 minutes, Coric has not been 100 percent of late due to a back injury and he is coming off a long week in St. Petersburg–where he finished runner-up to an on-fire Daniil Medvedev.

And it’s safe to say de Minaur is playing even better than Coric right now. The 31st-ranked Australian’s summer was a stellar one, with his second career title in Atlanta, a third-round performance in Cincinnati, and a fourth-round run at the U.S. Open. He is showing no signs of slowing down this fall, with victories so far in Zhuhai over Murray and John Millman (6-1, 6-3). De Minaur is now 25-15 for the season that has him well on his way to another appearance in the NextGen ATP Finals (trailing only Stefanos Tsitsipas and Felix Auger-Aliassime in that race).

The rest of the Zhuhai quarterfinals are rounded out by Adrian Mannarino vs. Damir Dzumhur, Gael Monfils vs. Albert Ramos-Vinolas, and Roberto Bautista Agut vs. Andreas Seppi.

Mannarino got a retirement from top-seeded Stefanos Tsitsipas prior to their third set on Thursday.

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

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