World No. 83 Egor Gerasimov absolutely enjoyed playing against three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray in the Montpellier first round on Monday. Gerasimov, a former world No. 65, needed one hour and 44 minutes to clinch a 7-6 (8) 6-1 win over former world No.
1 Murray. Gerasimov and Murray were playing for the first time against each other. Murray, now ranked at No. 121, was playing his first ATP event of the season. "I just tried to be focussed on the match and not think about mistakes," Gerasimov said in his on-court interview, as quoted on the ATP website.
"I just wanted to try my best today because I was playing with a great champion. It was a big experience and I'm happy."
Gerasimov won a tight first set
Gerasimov claimed the first break of the match in the seventh game but his lead was short-lived as Murray broke back in the following game to tie the first set at four games apiece.
As no more breaks were seen -- the first set went into a tie-break -- in which Murray won three consecutive points to save two consecutive points from 6-4 down and earn his first set point. But Gerasimov then saved the set point and also won the following point to take an 8-7 lead.
Murray saved the third set point to level the tie-break at 8-8 but Gerasimov then won the following two points to win a tight opener. After winning a tight opener, Gerasimov absolutely dominated the second set as he claimed two breaks and lost no service games to earn a straight-set win.
"I just tried to make good shots, that's it," Gerasimov said. "I wasn't thinking about winning the tie-break or losing the tie-break. I was thinking about the court, about the game." Gerasimov plays next against either rising Italian star Jannik Sinner or Slovenian Aljaz Bedene.