Andy Murray beats Gijs Brouwer to close in on end of grass-court title wait

Andy Murray took a step closer to a first grass singles title in six years, but only after coming through a test match with Gijs Brouwer to win 7-6(4) 7-6(3) and advance to the quarters of Surbiton Trophy Final.

The three-time Grand Slam winner needed nearly two hours to knock out the Dutchman, who had passed qualifying to advance to the last 16 of the ATP Challenger Tour event.

Murray had skipped the French Open in order to begin preparations for Wimbledon early and followed Monday’s routine triumph over Jurij Rodionov with a trickier win this time.

He will be back in action at the south-west London venue on Friday against fifth seed Brandon Nakashima, aiming to taste success on this surface for the first time since winning SW19 in 2016.

As in his opener at the Surbiton Racket & Fitness Club, Murray started with an ace to delight those crammed into the 604-seater center court, with longtime physio Shane Annun and strength coach and of conditioning Matt Little seated among the spectators.

Brouwer held firm in the opening rallies and fired a few aces before having to save two break points in the sixth service game.

Andy Murray advanced to the quarter-finals in Surbiton (Steven Paston/PA)

(PA wire)

It was Murray’s turn to be on the back foot at 5-5, but he eventually held on before a tiebreaker was needed to decide the opener.

The former Olympic champion’s serve had been impressive throughout the first set and two more aces were followed by an outstanding backhand down the line to edge the tie-break 7-4.

Murray had won in less than 58 minutes on Monday, but with that opener lasting six minutes less, it highlighted the challenge provided by world number 230 Brouwer.

It continued in the same vein in the second and while the two-time Wimbledon champion saved a break point in game four, he was unable to repeat the trick in his next service game and trailed 4 -2.

Fans flocked to see Murray in action (Steven Paston/PA)

(PA wire)

An instant response was produced by Murray, who showed great movement to reach a shot on net to recover the set on serve.

Brouwer kept his level to ensure the Briton served twice to stay in the set, which he did to force another tie-break.

Murray’s quality shone there with a mix of strong returns and great serves seeing him win 7-6(4) 7-6(3) in an hour and 50 minutes.

He has won back-to-back victories on grass and three more will ensure he lifts the silverware again in England on Sunday.

Andy Murray beats Gijs Brouwer to close in on end of grass-court title wait

Source link Andy Murray beats Gijs Brouwer to close in on end of grass-court title wait

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