ATP Cincinnati: Andy Murray sends Alexander Zverev packing

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ATP Cincinnati: Andy Murray sends Alexander Zverev packing

The two-time Cincinnati champion Andy Murray is through to the third round, prevailing over the fifth seed Alexander Zverev 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 in two and a half fours. Competing for the first time since the Davis Cup Finals last November, the three-time Major champion defeated two young guns so far in New York, playing on a high level in the decider against Frances Tiafoe and moving into the last 16 after a massive win over the German.

It is the first top-10 triumph for Andy since Roland Garros 2017, and the best Masters 1000 tournament since Paris 2016 when he won the title, the last one at this level. Struggling with injuries over the last for years, Andy had to undergo two hip surgeries to take the pain away and start competing again, eager to extend his career and fight for notable titles.

Andy won four points more than Alexander, fending off eight out of 11 break chances and delivering four breaks from eight opportunities to emerge at the top and set the clash against Milos Raonic. It wasn't the best performance we could see from these two, with Zverev hitting 31 winners and 49 unforced errors, followed by Murray's 16-31 ratio.

There was nothing to separate them in the shortest and mid-range exchanges, with the Briton taking four points more in the most advanced rallies to seal the deal after a titanic battle. Andy held at 15 in games one and three to settle into a fine rhythm, securing a break in the next one to open a 3-1 gap.

A service winner pushed Murray 4-1 ahead, defending two break chances in game seven with bold hitting and closing the opening set at 5-3 when Zverev sprayed a forehand mistake. The German saved two break chances at the beginning of the second set with winners, earning three break points at 3-2.

Alexander Zverev served for the victory against Andy Murray.

Staying calm, Andy repelled them with service winners but couldn't do the same at 3-4, getting broken and allowing Alexander to close the set in game nine and force a decider.

Starting all over, Murray landed a break at 2-1 thanks to a return winner, holding after deuce to confirm the advantage and open a 4-1 gap. Ready to fight, Zverev broke back at love in game seven, securing another break at 4-4 when Murray netted an easy forehand.

Standing two points away from victory, Alexander got broken in game ten thanks to a double fault, keeping Murray in contention and losing ground. Andy held at 15 in game 11 and sealed the deal with a backhand return winner a few minutes later for a great comeback and the place in the next round.