Andy Murray, ranked 68 in the world, stuns top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas to reach the semi-finals of the Stuttgart Open; the 35-year-old will face Nick Kyrgios for a spot in Sunday’s final after his opponent Marton Fucsovics was forced to withdraw during the second set
Andy Murray produced a vintage display against top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas to reach the semi-finals of the Stuttgart Open on Friday.
The former world No 1, currently ranked 68 in the world, claimed one of his biggest wins since undergoing hip surgery in 2019 as he continued his stunning form on the grass in Germany this week by shocking Tsitsipas 7-6 (7-4) 6-3 in one hour and 40 minutes to make the final four.
Murray won 82 per cent of first serve points
65 per cent of second serve points in earning his first Top 5 win since 2016 when he defeated Novak Djokovic at the ATP Finals to seal year-end No 1
Andy Murray’s last tour-level semi-final came on grass: 2016 at Wimbledon, which he won
Andy Murray said in his on-court interview: “I thought I did well. He served unbelievably well in the first set and I had very few chances when I was returning.
“But when he was creating opportunities on my serve I stayed strong. I played a really solid tiebreak and in the second set, I served well while he dropped a little bit.
“Once I was in the rallies I felt like I was dictating a lot of the points so it was a good performance.”
Andy Murray said that he was happy to hit top gear on his preferred surface.
“I don’t want to say I was the smarter player, but maybe this surface suits my style. Stefanos plays well on all surfaces but this works really nicely for my game and I’m able to use my strengths better.”
In a tight encounter, the 35-year-old Scot saved a set point at 6-6 in the opener before sealing it in a tie-break and broke Tsitsipas to move 4-2 up in the second on his way to clinching an impressive win on his third match point and gain revenge for his defeat to Tsitsipas at the US Open last year.
Andy Murray will play Nick Kyrgios for a place in Sunday’s final. The Australian progressed after his opponent Marton Fucsovics was forced to withdraw during the second set. Kyrgios was leading 7-6 (7-3) 3-0 at the time.
The Australian and Murray are good friends despite their very different characters, and the Scot has won five of their previous six meetings.
Kyrgios said: “I know what to expect but he also is a veteran on the grass and I don’t want to take him lightly at all. I’m just going to go out there, serve big, look after my serve and see what I can do on his return games.”
Matteo Berrettini, the 2021 Wimbledon runner-up who is making his return from injury, earlier booked his place in the last four of the ATP 250 event with a 3-6 6-3 6-4 win over fellow Italian Lorenzo Sonego.
He next faces local favourite Oscar Otte, who went through following a walkover by Frenchman Benjamin Bonzi.
At the Libema Open in the Netherlands, world No 2 Daniil Medvedev will take on France’s Adrian Mannarino in the last four while second seed Felix Auger-Aliassime meets local wild card Tim Van Rijthoven.
In other news, French Open champion Iga Swiatek will skip next week’s Berlin Open WTA 500 tournament due to a shoulder issue, but the world No 1 hopes to be fully fit for Wimbledon starting on Monday, June 27.
Swiatek defeated American Coco Gauff 6-1 6-3 in the Roland Garros final last week to win her second Grand Slam title following a triumph in Paris in 2020.
However, she will now head to the Wimbledon without any preparatory tournament.
“Due to a recurrent discomfort I am feeling in my shoulder, unfortunately, I need to withdraw from the bett1open in Berlin,” Swiatek tweeted.
“I’m sorry I will not be able to play there. I will focus on recovery and rest in order to be ready for Wimbledon.”