PHENOMENAL! Andy Murray Stops Hubert Hurkacz in a Blockbuster Battle at ATP Vienna 2021

Published 10/25/2021, 3:34 PM EDT
Oct 10, 2021; Indian Wells, CA, USA; Andy Murray (GBR) reacts after winning a point during his second round match against Carlos Alcaraz (ESP) in the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports


Former World No.1 and three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray has been churning out exceptional performances on the ATP tour and registered victories against the likes of Ugo Humbert, Frances Tiafoe, Carlos Alcaraz, etc.,. Even in his defeats, the Brit pushed all of his opponents to the limit before bowing out.

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However, if there’s a player who took complete advantage of Murray this year, it’s Hubert Hurkacz. The Polish star faced Andy twice on tour this year and won both the contests in straight sets, interestingly both previous matches had exactly the same scoreline.

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The duo faced each other once again in the opening round of Erste Bank Open in Vienna, Austria. It was Hurkacz who entered the match as a clear favorite. Let’s see how the match progressed.

Andy Murray edged past Hubert Hurkacz to clinch the first set,6-4

For a start, Hurkacz was exceptional on his serve right through the first set as he barely missed any of his first serves. Even the win percentage on the first serve was high for the Polish player in comparison to Murray.

Both the players remained on serve till the eighth game of the first set. On Hurkacz’s serve in the ninth game, Murray was successful in putting enough pressure from the back of the court and was rewarded with a break of serve.

The Brit didn’t make too many mistakes in his next service game and clinched the first set comfortably, 6-4. The battle was heating up between the two ahead of the second set.

Aug 30, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Andy Murray of Great Britain reacts to a winner against Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece (not pictured) on day one of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

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The story of the second set was similar to that of the first, where both Murray and Hurkacz refused to pull back on serves. The baseline exchanges were intense, as it was the Brit who came on top more often than Hurkacz.

Hurkacz bounced back to win the second set in a tie-breaker

The Polish youngster was making repeated errors from the baseline in the second set. Even after deciding to come forward to the net for some shots, it didn’t yield great results for Hurkacz. Murray, on the other hand, was playing some of his best tennis.

Both Murray and Hurkacz remained on serve after fending off break points on each other’s serve. The quality of tennis put up by Andy was nothing short of spectacular as he tried to close the match in straight sets.

But Hurkacz managed to cling on to his service games and took the second set to a tie-breaker. It was a see-saw battle between both these talented players in the breaker as the momentum kept shifting between the two.

In the end, it was a match of fine margins as Hubert Hurkacz saved a match point and pulled an incredible comeback to win the tie-breaker, 7-6(6).

Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 7, 2021 Poland’s Hubert Hurkacz celebrates winning his quarter final match against Switzerland’s Roger Federer REUTERS/Toby Melville

Murray puts up a spirited performance to win the decider against Hurkacz

At the start of the third set, Hurkacz’s confident hitting and Murray’s discouraging body language handed the Pole a break of serve very early in the decider. But the Brit’s resilience in the subsequent game allowed him to break back immediately. The match was leveled at 1-1.

Oct 12, 2021; Indian Wells, CA, USA; Andy Murray (GBR) hits a shot against Alexander Zverev (GER) during a third round match in the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Both players held on to their serves for the next few games before a sloppy service game from Hurkacz gave the Brit yet another chance to take the lead in the decider. With this break of serve, Murray was just one game short of an incredible victory.

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Serving for the match at 5-3, Murray was pushed to the limit by Hubert Hurkacz as he gave his best to bounce back into the match. In the end, the Brit survived and moved to the next round by defeating the Pole in three sets. Carlos Alcaraz awaits Murray in the second round of the Erste Bank Open 2021.

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Sagar Ashtakoula

567 articles

Sagar Ashtakoula is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. He has been following the sport since 2007. Sagar has completed his graduation in Electronics and Communication Engineering.

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