ATP

Murray makes triumphant return at Western and Southern Open

By Sports Desk August 16, 2021

Andy Murray looked sharp in his first singles match since Wimbledon, rolling to a straight-sets win over Richard Gasquet at the Western and Southern Open. 

Murray defeated the veteran Frenchman 6-4 6-4 on a rainy opening day in Cincinnati, capitalising on a strong service game to advance. 

Murray had 14 aces to just two double faults and won 81 per cent of points on his first serve while saving four of the five break points he faced. 

A two-time champion at the ATP 1000 event, he will face the winner of Tuesday's match between Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and ninth seed Hubert Hurkacz in the second round. 

Two players who shared a birthday Monday also prevailed on their big day. 

On the day he turned 20, 11th seed Jannik Sinner defeated Federico Delbonis 6-2 7-5, while 10th seed Diego Schwartzman had to work a bit harder on his 28th birthday to down Daneil Evans 6-2 4-6 6-3. 

Elsewhere, 12th seed Felix Auger-Aliassime beat Marton Fucsovics 7-6 (7-0) 6-3, while 14th seed Alex de Minaur rallied to down Filip Krajinovic 0-6 6-4 6-4. 

Fifteenth seed David Goffin fell 6-3 6-3 to Guido Pella in the only seeded upset of the day. 

Other winners Monday included Karen Khachanov, Fabio Fognini, Lloyd Harris, Dominik Koepfer, Benoit Paire, Albert Ramos Vinolas and Mackenzie McDonald. 

Among those set to play their opening matches Tuesday are third seed Alexander Zverev, who will face Harris, and sixth seed Denis Shapovalov, who plays Paire. 

Related items

  • French Open: Kanepi keeps up strong run against grand slam seeds by defeating Muguruza French Open: Kanepi keeps up strong run against grand slam seeds by defeating Muguruza

    Kaia Kanepi kept up her strong record against grand slam seeds as she overcame Garbine Muguruza at the French Open.

    Muguruza won at Roland Garros in 2016 and also triumphed at last year's WTA Finals.

    However, the world number 10 fell to the unseeded Kanepi in her first-round match on Sunday.

    Muguruza, seeded 10th, lost 2-6 6-3 6-4 to the Estonian world number 46, who recorded her 10th career win at a major over a player ranked inside the top 10.

    Kanepi, who is the oldest player in the women's main draw, also extended her brilliant record against seeds in grand slam tournaments, having now won 19 such matches.

    Among active players, only Serena Williams (29), her sister Venus (22) and French Open 10th seed Victoria Azarenka (21) have more such wins.

    She will now play Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia in the second round.

     

  • French Open: Thiem 'not there yet' as frustrating campaign continues with Roland Garros exit French Open: Thiem 'not there yet' as frustrating campaign continues with Roland Garros exit

    Dominic Thiem admitted he needs more time to be able to complete after his frustrating return from injury continued with a "painful" French Open first-round exit to Hugo Dellien.

    Thiem also hinted he could drop down to play a couple of ATP Challenger-level tournaments, having struggled upon his return from a wrist injury which ruled him out for the second half of last season.

    The 2020 US Open winner, who was runner-up to Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros in both 2018 and 2019, arrived in the French capital on a six-match losing run, and Dellien took full advantage of the Austrian's woes to claim a 6-3 6-2 6-4 win.

    Speaking after a comprehensive defeat in which he was broken four times, Thiem acknowledged he is not operating at the necessary level to compete at grand slams.

    "It was not a good match at all, but it is what it is," a dejected Thiem said post-match.

    "You've got to take time, as the level is extremely high from all the players competing here, and I'm not there yet. I was really working hard to get there, but the time was just not enough, I've got to accept it.

    "Even though there have been some really painful defeats now week after week, still nothing unexpected happened. Had I won a lot of matches, it would have been a big surprise, so it's painful.

    "I'm very disappointed, but the wait goes on."

    Since his comeback, the former world number three has only won one set of tennis in seven matches - at an ATP Challenger Tour event in Marbella in March - and he thinks a return to that level could aid his recovery.

    "The problem is a match situation is something different; [in a] grand slam especially," he added. "I am definitely thinking to go back to Challenger level for one or two tournaments.

    "I am more tight, more nervous, and the whole body gets more tight. This is toxic to my forehand because I am still missing the fine feeling there."

  • French Open: Linette claims Jabeur scalp in Paris French Open: Linette claims Jabeur scalp in Paris

    Ons Jabeur was the first big-name casualty at the French Open as Magda Linette produced a shock on day one.

    Jabeur arrived at Roland Garros with the expectation she would be one of the most likely to challenge strong favourite Iga Swiatek, but Linette consigned the sixth seed to a 3-6 7-6 (7-4) 7-5 defeat on Sunday.

    Battling Tunisian Jabeur won her maiden WTA 1000 title at the Madrid Open this month and had reached the final of three of the four tournaments she has played on clay this season.

    The 27-year-old also started the Paris major with a tour-leading 17-3 record on this surface in 2022, but she was unable to get the better of the world number 56.

    Linette was broken three times in the first set, but fought back from 3-1 down in a second-set tie-break to take Jabeur the distance.

    It appeared a final-set tie-break would be on the cards in the opening match on Court Philippe-Chatrier, but Linette had other ideas.

    The Pole - who struck 32 winners - decisively broke for a third time when Jabeur was serving to stay in the match to claim her first top-10 scalp of the season, setting up a second-round meeting with Martina Trevisan or Harriet Dart.

    A junior French Open champion in 2011, Jabeur must lick her wounds after 47 unforced errors to fall at the first hurdle.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.