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ATP Tennis • San Diego Open • Results • Order of Play • Draws • Summary

Murray Eases Past Kudla into San Diego Open Second Round

By: Thomas Cluck

Day two of the inaugural San Diego Open was all about Andy Murray and the three-time Grand Slam champion did not disappoint.

While the night session was initially scheduled to feature a blockbuster opening-round duel between the Brit and Kei Nishikori, a back injury unfortunately forced the Japanese star to have to withdraw, a pain Murray- who’s spent the better part of the past four years attempting comeback after comeback following multiple hip surgeries- knows all too well.

The Barnes Tennis Center crowd was still well treated with American Denis Kudla, who fell in the final round of qualifying over the weekend here, getting called up as a lucky loser to take on Murray.

Murray, who came to Southern California fresh off an encouraging quarterfinal run last week in Metz where he fell to the eventual champion Hubert Hurkacz, kept up that strong form tonight, racing past his over-matched opponent 6-3, 6-2 in just over an hour.

The last month has seen an encouraging uptick in form on court for Murray, most notably pushing third-seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece to a thrilling five-set battle at the US Open that both players had chances to win.

“It’s been better. The US Open was sort of the start of that where I played a bit better and I just need to start beating some higher ranked players,” assessed Murray.

“I’ve had opportunities in those matches against the top players I’ve played. I think I can beat them. I just need to start converting some of my opportunities against them and I get an opportunity on Thursday to do that against Ruud,” the Brit added.

The next match doesn’t get any easier though for Murray with tournament second seed Casper Ruud of Norway, who helped Team Europe capture the Laver Cup just last weekend, awaiting in the second round on Thursday.

“I’ll need to look at it a little bit because I’ve never practiced with him, I’ve never played against him, and I haven’t seen him play loads. I know a bit about his game but not a lot. I’ll need to look at some video of him playing, and try to get an understanding of how he plays, what his strengths and weaknesses are,” Murray concluded.

It was a thrilling start to the day in San Diego as well with a pair of three-setters starting off the action on Barnes Stadium. In an all-American encounter, it was Sebastian Korda who got the better of his countryman Tommy Paul 6-3, 5-7, 6-1 while fan favorite Grigor Dimitrov was forced to dig deep against Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics, winning 6-3, 1-6, 7-5 to move on and get three seed Felix Auger-Alliasime of Canada in the next round.

Tuesday also saw Italy’s Lornezo Sonego defeat Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia 6-3, 6-4 on Stadium 2 while the doubles team of Dan Evans and Fabio Fognini fell later on that court to Austin Krajicek and Andreas Mies 6-1, 3-6, 10-7.

Wednesday’s action sees top seed Andrey Rublev make his tournament debut against local favorite Brandon Nakashima in the night session while day action features former Wimbledon and US Open finalist Kevin Anderson taking on eighth seed Dan Evans and Hubert Hurkacz- fresh off a title last week- opens against qualifier Alex Bolt of Australia.

First Round

[6] D. Schwartzman (ARG) d [Q] F. Gaio (ITA) 62 63
[9] L. Sonego (ITA) d N. Basilashvili (GEO) 63 64
L. Harris (RSA) d [Q] C. Eubanks (USA) 36 61 64
C. Norrie (GBR) d D. Koepfer (GER) 62 75
G. Dimitrov (BUL) d M. Fucsovics (HUN) 63 16 75
S. Korda (USA) d T. Paul (USA) 63 57 61
[WC] A. Murray (GBR) d [LL] D. Kudla (USA) 63 62

First Round

[WC] B. Nakashima (USA) / S. Verbeek (NED) d G. Dimitrov (BUL) / J. Rojer (NED) 46 63 10-8
A. Krajicek (USA) / A. Mies (GER) d D. Evans (GBR) / F. Fognini (ITA) 61 36 10-7

BARNES STADIUM start 11:30 am
First Round – [LL] K. Anderson (RSA) vs [8] D. Evans (GBR)
First Round – [5] H. Hurkacz (POL) vs [Q] A. Bolt (AUS)

Not Before 5:30 pm
Second Round – [1] A. Rublev (RUS) vs [WC] B. Nakashima (USA)
Second Round – L. Harris (RSA) vs [6] D. Schwartzman (ARG)

STADIUM 2 start 11:30 am
M. Arevalo (ESA) / F. Delbonis (ARG) vs [2] J. Murray (GBR) / B. Soares (BRA)
M. Daniell (NZL) / M. Venus (NZL) vs T. Fritz (USA) / T. Paul (USA)

Not Before 4:00 pm
H. Hurkacz (POL) / M. Melo (BRA) vs [3] J. Peers (AUS) / F. Polasek (SVK)
[WC] A. Sancic (CRO) / A. Sitak (NZL) vs J. Thompson (AUS) / J. Withrow (USA)