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Andy Murray’s Tennis Comeback Continues Into Antwerp ATP Final, Stan Wawrinka Wins To Set Up Showdown

By Ricky Dimon

It’s 2019, almost 2020 in fact, and Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka are still out here making ATP Finals.

Murray basically retired at this year’s Australian Open. Wawrinka had not played since the U.S. Open due to a knee injury prior to arriving at the European Open.

No matter.

Murray is through to his first ATP final since February of 2017 after beating Ugo Humbert 3-6, 7-5, 6-2 in the Antwerp semis on Saturday. Murray won his second consecutive three-setter after two hours and 22 minutes, bringing his time on court in the last two matches to four hours and 57 minutes.

“I am obviously happy to be in the final,” said the three-time Grand Slam champion, who was plagued by hip trouble late in 2017, for all of 2018, and obviously again this season. “I did very well to turn that match around today. It was tough. He was playing huge from the back of the court…. It was tricky today but I am obviously happy to be back in a final.”

After a slow first set, Murray broke for 3-2 in the second only to give it right back for 3-3. The world No. 243 n earned another break at 6-5, taking a 0-40 lead and capitalizing on his third set point to force a decider. Breaks at 1-0 and 5-2 in the third were more than enough for Murray to wrap up the proceedings in style.

Next up the 32-year-old Scot on Sunday is Wawrinka, who ended wild card Jannick Sinner’s run with a 6-3, 6-2 win.

“I think it will be a nice match to play,” Murray assured. “Me and Stan have played a lot against each other… It is nice that we are both able to be back playing against each other in a final.”

The Stockholm Open final, meanwhile, will pit Denis Shapovalov against Filip Krajinovic. Shapovalov will compete for an ATP title for the first time in his career after getting the best of lucky loser Yuichi Sugita 7-5, 6-2.

“I’ve played a lot of semis it feels like, so it’s really exciting to be into my first final,” the Canadian commented. “I’ve had some bad luck, some tough matches in the semis. But on the other side making the semi-finals is a good sign, so I knew sooner or later the win was going to come, so I’ve stayed pretty patient.”

At the Kremlin Cup is Moscow, the home crowd will be buzzing on Sunday with Andrey Rublev battling for the title. Rublev defeated Marin Cilic 7-5, 6-4 and will battle Adrian Mannarino for the title. Mannarino’s 6-3, 6-4 victory over Andreas Seppi propelled the Frenchman into the final of this tournament for a second straight year.

“That was a really consistent match,” said Mannarino, who is nothing if not consistent. In fact, he may be the most consistent player on the entire tour!

“I was trying to make Andreas work as hard as I could and I think that it worked out pretty well. I was serving well in the most important moments and that helped me a lot. I just hope I will be as consistent [tomorrow as I was] today.”

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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