ATP Vienna: Andy Murray edges Hubert Hurkacz for top-10 victory

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ATP Vienna: Andy Murray edges Hubert Hurkacz for top-10 victory

Between the ATP Finals 2015 and Doha 2017, Andy Murray scored 19 wins in 24 encounters against the top-10 rivals. Struggling with injuries, Andy had beaten only two opponents from the exclusive group between January 2017 and the last week, hoping to change that at this week's strong ATP 500 event in Vienna.

The three-time Major winner faced the top-10 rival in the opening round and scored a notable 6-4, 6-7, 6-3 win over Hubert Hurkacz in two hours and 40 minutes. It was their third meeting since August and the first triumph for the Briton, who claimed nine points more than the Pole and fended off nine out of ten break chances to keep the pressure on the other side.

Andy wasted a match point in the second set's tie break and found a way towards the finish line in the decider, overpowering the better-ranked rival in the shortest and mid-range exchanges and sealing the deal with three breaks on his tally.

Andy Murray ousted Hubert Hurkacz in the first round in Vienna.

Hubert repelled two break points in the opener's third game with powerful serves, and they both served well to reach 4-4. Returning at 4-4, Murray grabbed a break when his rival sprayed a forehand mistake and secured the opener with a service winner in game ten for 6-4 after 44 minutes.

Serving at 2-3 in set number two, Andy defended four break chances, with an open forehand for Hubert on the last one that he sent wide. The Pole saved two break chances in the seventh game and wasted an opportunity on the return in the next one thanks to the Briton's mighty backhand that forced the rival's mistake.

Both players served well in the remaining four games, and Murray earned a set point with a volley winner at the net at 5-5. Hubert painted a backhand down the line winner in the 12th point to stay alive and scored the crucial mini-break at 7-6 to steal the set after over an hour and force a decider.

Hurkacz claimed his only break at the beginning of the final set following Murray's double fault and squandered game points in the next one before Andy pulled the break back for 1-1. The Briton held at love in game five and grabbed a break for a 4-2 advantage a few minutes later.

Murray fired an unreturned serve in the seventh game to open a 5-2 lead and fended off two break chances in game nine before sealing the deal with an ace for only the third top-10 victory since January 2017.