MURRAY REACH STUTTGART FINAL AFTER BEATING KYRGIOS IN STRAIGHT SETS; ‘IT’S BEEN A LONG WHILE’.
Andy Murray beat Nick Kyrgios for his 70th career final. The win sets up a final in Stuttgart with Italy’s Matteo Berrettini on Sunday, a match which Murray admits he’s looking forward to. “I’m happy to be in the final, I’ve played well this week and I’ve got a great opportunity against Matteo tomorrow.”
Andy Murray beat Nick Kyrgios in straight sets 7-6(5) 6-2 in the semi-finals of the BOSS Open in Stuttgart to set-up a final with Matteo Berrettini.
The first set – which took just over an hour – needed a tie-break after a straightforward opening 12 games, which Murray managed to pip 7-5.
At 4-4, Murray found some tremendous spin to send the ball away from Kyrgios, leaving the Australian unable to produce a return.
The Brit was within touching distance of taking the first set when Kyrgios tried, and failed, to produce a drop shot on his service point, before Murray squandered two set points dropping his shot out of play.
Another impressive shot from the 35-year-old confirmed the first set in the Briton’s favour.
Upon losing the opening set, Kyrgios took his anger out on his racquet – and was cautioned with a penalty point – after smashing it into the ground and breaking it in two.
During the set the world No. 78 had complained how the ball was “rolling on the ground rather than bouncing”.
After the penalty point was awarded, he lost the first point and was quickly 0-30 down. He managed two comeback points before losing the next point, and a double-fault allowed Murray to take the opening game of the second set.
The 27-year-old’s frustration continued to grow, he argued his way into a game penalty, showing unsportsmanlike conduct.
Murray capitalised on Kyrgios’ troubles, and at this point – despite Kyrgios winning the third game – began to run away with the set.
He quickly stretched his lead, breaking Kyrgios’ serve for the second time to lead 4-1, and with three straight points on his serve in the next game, extended his lead to four.
A 10th Kyrgios ace of the match helped him reduce the deficit to three games temporarily, until Murray wrapped up the match.
He had two match points in the final game, and after dropping the first into the net, made no mistake with the second to book his place in his 10th final on grass.
Speaking after the game, Murray said he was “happy and proud” to reach his 70th final on the tour.
“It’s been a long while since the last one,”he said. “It’s been a few years and a lot of ups and downs in the last few years
BUT I KEPT GOING, KEPT WORKING, AND FINALLY MANAGED TO GET TO ANOTHER ONE, SO I’M HAPPY AND PROUD OF THE EFFORT I PUT IN TO GET BACK THERE.
“I was a little more solid on the tie-break,” Murray said when analysing his performance.
“I made a lot of returns, asked the question of him in the tie-break and you know, on these courts when it’s playing quick like this it’s going to come down to one or two points, and I was a little bit more solid and secure at the end of the first set.”
On Kyrgios’ frustration at the end of the first set, Murray insisted the Australian – and his close friend – could be “one of the best in the world”.
“Nick has the potential to be one of the best players in the world,” Murray admitted. “There’s absolutely no question about that, but he obviously got very frustrated at the start of the second set and made it a lot easier for me.
LOOK, I’M HAPPY TO BE IN THE FINAL, I’VE PLAYED WELL THIS WEEK AND I’VE GOT A GREAT OPPORTUNITY AGAINST MATTEO TOMORROW.
Despite the high praise for his semi-final opponent, Murray admitted after the match that the second set was not much of a contest.
“The second set was not much fun to play, it was not very competitive,” Murray said. “It wasn’t really a match. He started well but closer to the end he got frustrated. The first set was tough and the end of the first set was the crucial part of the match.
“You expect things to happen against him, so I’m not surprised when they do. It was a very frustrating set for him to lose and he broke a racquet. He also had a back and forth with the umpire and something seemed to happen in the crowd. But I didn’t really hear anything after the first set.”
Since the conclusion of the match, Kyrgios took to Instagram to say he was racially abused during the semi-final tie.
Murray beat Greek top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6(4) 6-3 in the quarter-finals, the first time he had beaten a top-five ranked opponent in over five years, when he downed Novak Djokovic at the ATP Finals.
He’ll face world No. 10 Berrettini in the final on Sunday, before matching-up with Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego in the first round of the Cinch Championship at Queen’s, as he continues to prepare for his main target – Wimbledon.