09 February 2022

Andy Murray beats Bublik to set up ‘great test’ against Felix Auger Aliassime

09 February 2022

Andy Murray reached the second round at the Rotterdam Open after a 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 win over Kazakhstan’s Alexander Bublik.

Murray was playing in his first match since his second-round defeat at the Australian Open and facing an opponent who had won his maiden ATP Tour title last week by beating world number three Alexander Zverev in the final of the Open Sud de France.

Both players spurned break opportunities in the opening set before Bublik made the breakthrough to lead 6-5, prompting Murray to throw down his racket in frustration.

However, he immediately levelled and took the opening set after a tie-break.

Murray’s break of serve in the seventh game of the second set put him on course to serve for the match and he duly did so to love and will play Canada’s Felix Auger Aliassime in the next round.

“I’m looking forward to that one,” Murray told Amazon Prime after the match. “He’s started the year very well, one of the best young players just now.

“I’ll need to be on my game if I want to beat him but it’s a great test for me and we’ll see what happens out there.

I'm looking forward to that one

“There were some tough moments in the first set for both of us. I just managed to come through at the end of it – hit some great returns off some big second serves at the end and did a good job.

“It’s not easy playing against someone like that – he’s going for huge serves, a lot of drop shots and at times is looking disinterested but is still trying. You have to keep your focus and I did that well.”

Fellow Briton Cameron Norrie is also through after he defeated Karen Khachanov 6-4 7-6(5).

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