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Tennis • Murray advances past Zverev, other upsets include Thiem, Kvitova, and Keys

By Ricky Dimon

Andy Murray picked up his biggest win since hip surgery by beating Alexander Zverev 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 at the Western & Southern Open on Monday. Murray benefited from 11 Zverev double-faults to break serve four times and advance in two hours and 31 minutes.

It was another roller-coaster ride for the Scot, who also needed three sets against Frances Tiafoe in round one. As usual, that brought out both the good and the bad in Murray’s mentality.

“If you’re watching me on the court, you might think that I get really down on myself and that I’m very negative,” he explained. “I think outwardly, I definitely am. But inside me I have a very, very strong self-belief and know that I can win matches like that.

“If you watched my practice sets in the build-up to the tournament… I was getting belted by everyone. And that had also been the case back home. Couldn’t win one. But practice doesn’t really matter. It’s what you do on the match court.”

It’s back to the practice court for Dominic Thiem, Petra Kvitova, and Madison Keys. Thiem won only three games against Filip Krajinovic, Kvitova lost to Marie Bouzkova, and Keys got crushed by Ons Jabeur.

Madison Keys of the USA wipes her face as she walks back to her chair during a break in action against Ons Jabeur of Tunisia.

It was an up-and-down day for American men. Things started off on the wrong foot when Taylor Fritz lost to Aljaz Bedene 7-6(5), 7-5. Bedene’s stay at the BJKNTC has already been a productive one, to say the least. Even before beating Fritz, the Slovenian qualified for the main draw with victories over Denis Kudla and Dennis Novak. He then dismissed the world No. 24 in one hour and 44 minutes.

Bedene on Tuesday will battle defending champion Daniil Medvedev, who rolled over Marcos Giron 6-4, 6-4.

Shortly thereafter, however, big men John Isner and Reilly Opelka advanced. Isner blasted 35 aces past John Millman but still had an extremely tough test on his hands. Millman made the 6’10” veteran work for for two hours and 47 minutes before finally going down 4-6, 7-6(3), 7-6(5). Opelka produced 13 aces and battled through an apparent knee injury to beat Diego Schwartzman 6-3, 7-6(4).

John Isner defeats John Millman.

Isner meets Stefanos Tsitsipas in round three; Opelka is going up against Matteo Berrettini.

Ricky contributes to10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.