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Tsitsipas, Murray set up Stuttgart Tennis showdown, Kyrgios also reaches quarterfinals

Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece will face former world No. 1 Andy Murray. EPA-EFE/FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO COMMERCIAL SALES

By Ricky Dimon

The BOSS Open draw may not be of Grand Slam caliber–understandable since it is only an ATP 250 tournament. But at the same time it is likely to keep a good number of its star players around for the duration–unlike the French Open.

Top two seeds Stefanos Tsitsipas and Matteo Berrettini are through to the quarterfinals, joined by Andy Murray and Nick Kyrgios. Although Tsitsipas, Murray, and Kyrgios are all in the top half, a quaterfinal clash between Berrettini and Lorenzo Sonego at the bottom of the bracket makes for an intriguing matchup on Friday.

Berrettini and Sonego advanced on Wednesday, while Tsitsipas, Murray, and Kyrgios punched their tickets to the last eight on Thursday. Following a bye, Tsitsipas made quick 6-3, 6-4 work of Swiss qualifier Dominic Stricker.

“I could work a little bit on the percentage of the first serve, which could be higher,” admitted the fifth-ranked Greek, who had not won a grass-court match since 2019. “Otherwise I was very involved with my footwork–being very active on the first ball on the serve, pushing my opponent back. It was a good match.”

Britain’s Andy Murray in action. EPA-EFE/VICKIE FLORES

Next up for Tsitsipas is Murray, who battled past Alexander Bublik 6-3, 7-6(4). A roller-coaster second set saw the 35-year-old Scot go up by a break, fall behind 5-2, recover to force a tiebreaker, and then clinch victory by taking the ‘breaker seven points to four.

“He is predictable in his unpredictability,” Murray said of Bublik during his on-court interview. “You are prepared for some amazing shots and then maybe some loose games. Today he played some amazing stuff for five or six games in the second set and everything was coming off and I was getting a bit frustrated, but I kept fighting. Held a tough game at 2-5 and I thought I played well through to the finish.”

Kyrgios needed three sets to advance, as he beat Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-3. The 27-year-old Aussie fired 20 aces compared to just one double-fault and he did not get broken a single time.

“He is a hell of a player,” Kyrgios said. “He is the World No. 25 for a reason and he has beaten some great opponents, so I knew he is dangerous. When he gets in his groove he is hard to get out of. I am just really happy with the way I competed.”

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.