ATP Stuttgart / La belle perf’: Murray knocks out Tsitsipas in the quarter-finals

A few weeks from Wimbledon, we wondered if he could green again. Andy Murray brought a sacred first element of response on Friday on the lawn of Stuttgart. The Scotsman, currently 68th at ATP, thus got the better of Stefanos Tsitsipas, seeded 1 in the German tournament and world number 5, in two sets (7-6, 6-3) and 1h40 in the quarter-finals . This is his first victory over a Top 5 member in five and a half years and the 2016 Masters final against Novak Djokovic, ‘Sir Andy’ was then world number 1. In the semi-finals, he will challenge his friend Nick Kyrgios who took advantage of the abandonment of Marton Fucsovics (7-6, 3-0 ab.) later in the day.

Admittedly, Stefanos Tsitsipas is not currently a reference on grass. The Greek had also won his first match in three years on the surface in the previous round. Nevertheless: what Andy Murray achieved on Friday is perhaps a sign that he will have to be counted on at the All England Club. Because the interested party signed a most successful performance against an opponent concerned and applied as rarely before on this surface.

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Unforced errors were also very rare in this game which had its major turning point in the tie-break of the first set. Just before achieving this, Murray had performed a small miracle on a set point against him on his serve at 5-6: after an aggressive forehand offset return from Tsitsipas, he put his racket in opposition, slightly off-center backhand half-volley from the back. But the ball snagged a bit of the line to keep him alive in that game. And in the next tiebreaker, another nudge, this time from the net board, helped him snatch the deal 7 points to 4.

In this first set, Murray also won two points less than his rival, but won the most important. Impeccable on their respective serves (respectively 90% and 82% success behind their first ball for the Greek and the Scotsman), the two men continued to go blow for blow at the start of the second set, until that Murray realizes the first (and only) break of the game in the 6th game. And to do this, in the wake of a relentless defense in the exchange, he pulled out of his hat an exceptional cross passing backhand, like in the good old days (7-6, 4-2).

Bleeding in his movements, especially his forward runs, always exceptional in backhand and even hard-hitting in his forehand, Murray had few flaws this Friday. Tsitsipas also had a good match himself, alternating interestingly between slices and backhand covered shots to change the pace. But it was the Scotsman who went for the victory with a final winning forehand, quite a symbol. Note also that the first semi-final will oppose Oscar Otte, who benefited from the package of Benjamin Bonzi, the ghost Matteo Berrettini, who defeated his compatriot Lorenzo Sonego (3-6, 6-3, 6-4).

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