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Andy Murray Completes Rotterdam Tennis Comeback against Haase, gets Rublev Next

Former world No. 1 Andy Murray will face Russian Andrey Rublev for a spot in the Rotterdam quarterfinals. EPA-EFE/KOEN SUYK

By Ricky Dimon

Andy Murray came back from a set down and from 3-0 down in the third to defeat Robin Haase 2-6, 7-6(2), 6-3 in round one of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament on Monday evening. Murray raised his level considerably throughout the second half of the match and finished with 33 winners–including six aces–across the two hours and 29 minutes of play.

It marked the Scot’s first tour-level victory since the first round of the 2020 U.S. Open.

“I found a way and actually at the end started to play a bit better,” Murray assessed. “From the mental side and the physical side was positive. I thought I moved pretty well. I played for two-and-a-half hours and my hips and groin and stuff felt good, so that was positive. But from a tennis side it was average at best.

“I think from the mental side, I did really well to win because I was really struggling with my game for probably about an hour and a half of that match. I haven’t really felt like that many times in my career. I was mistiming the ball, it was very strange. I didn’t quite know what to do out there and then when I sort of did feel I was making the right decisions, I was just mistiming the ball. It wasn’t coming off my racquet like usual.”

Andrey Rublev topped American qualifier Marcos Giron in his Rotterdam opener. EPA-EFE/KOEN SUYK

Dealing with recent criticism on social media for his relatively lackluster results over the past few months and even hearing calls for his retirement from the sport, Murray has insisted this week that he can still compete with the best players in the world.

He will get a chance to prove it in round two.

Up next for the 33-year-old is Andrey Rublev, who advanced with a 7-6(1), 6-3 victory over Marcos Giron on Tuesday afternoon. Rublev is up to No. 8 in the world after leading the entire ATP Tour with five titles in 2020. The Russian is on an incredible 16-match winning streak at 500-point tournaments.

Murray won their only previous meeting 6-3, 6-0, 6-2 at the 2017 Australian Open when Rublev was 19 years old.

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