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Tennis News • Andy Murray Makes Waves In Comeback With Beijing Win Over World No. 13 Berrettini

By Ricky Dimon

Andy Murray took his comeback to new heights with an impressive 7-6(2), 7-6(7) win over U.S. Open semifinalist Matteo Berrettini in the China Open first round on Tuesday afternoon. Murray picked up his biggest victory rankings-wise in more than a year and arguably his most important victory since the 2017 French Open by upsetting the world No. 13 in two hours and one minute.The 32-year-old Scot trailed by a break in each of the two sets, including 5-2 in the first. But he battled back on both occasions and also saved two set points in the second. Murray sealed the deal with a mini-break at 8-7 when Berrettini netted a backhand volley.

In addition to breaking Beijing’s eighth seed twice, Murray delivered an impressive serving performance. The three-time Grand Slam champion put 69 percent of his first serves in play and struck eight aces without double-faulting a single time.

“I feel like I’m hitting the ball pretty clean,” said Murray, who also reached the second round last week in Zhuhai. “Things are going in the right direction.”

He is clearly making strides since losing the first two ATP-level matches of his comeback from February hip surgery (to Richard Gasquet in Cincinnati and Tennys Sandgren in Winstons-Salem).

‘I didn’t really feel like I was playing at a great level [against Gasquet in Cincinnati],’ he commented following the win over Berrettini. “Whereas even last week although I lost in the second round (to eventual champion Alex de Minaur), I felt like I was playing tour-level tennis. Last week was a big step for me. Now I just need to try and get the matches, get them consistently, so that I’m used to playing three, four matches in a week.

“Right now, at this level, I don’t know if I’m ready to do that or not. So the more I can get through these sort of matches like I did today, I’ll get there a little bit quicker.”

At the Japan Open, meanwhile, Novak Djokovic won his first match since the U.S. Open with a 6-4, 6-2 defeat of qualifier Alexei Popyrin. Djokovic has returned earlier than expected from a shoulder injury that forced him to retire from a fourth-round match at Flushing Meadows against Stan Wawrinka.

Other winners across the two 500-point events on Tuesday were Dominic Thiem, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Felix Auger-Aliassime, John Isner, and Denis Shapovalov.

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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