China Open – Andy Murray 7-6 7-6 Matteo Berrettini

Andy Murray has recorded his biggest win since returning from hip resurfacing surgery.

The former China Open champion saw off US Open semi-finalist Matteo Berrettini. Matteo is currently ranked at No.13 in the world following a very good season and is in contention for a debut at the World Tour Finals.

Andy set out his stall quite early on and it was a very good performance against the Italian which has highlighted a slight issue in his game.

Big points are where the matches are won and lost and when things did get a little tense we saw Murray go quite deep into the backhand corner of Matteo with top-spin and following in at the net winning apparently 8/15 points there which did seem an odd number.

Early exchanges were close with a break either side before the Brit gained control in a one-sided tie-break taking it 7-2 against Matteo.

Second set quickly swung around with Andy being broken early on after some good pressure on serve from Matteo taking a 2-0 but was immediately pegged back by Murray.

The set was pretty close from there on in with neither play pushed too much and saving a good number of break points each.

I said Murray set up his stall quite early and Matteo will be disappointed how he let Andy dictate despite being a bigger threat in rallies.

Berrettini hit 35 winners to Andy’s 13 with 8 of the 13 of the Brit coming as aces. However despite this dominance in attacking play Murray’s defensive skills and that knack of asking more questions proved to be decisive.

Big winners but big errors from Matteo who hit 32 compared to 14 from Andy Murray split 7 and 7 on the backhand and forehand.

The second and what would be decisive tie-break summed it up for me. Big tennis from Matteo but clever tennis from Andy.

Andy led 4-2 in the tie-break but the Italian did level for 4-4. A point for 5-4 summed it up trying an audacious drop shot which bounced before it reached the net.

Composure continued to flow of the racket of Andy Murray. He found himself down a set point but a lovely drop shot/volley exchange at the net soon saw that off being a passing shot forced Matteo into the net to seal a very good win.

Next up for Andy Murray will be a match against fellow Brit Cam Norrie on Wednesday.

Matteo Berrettini still holds that final position right now for London by five points and will be hoping Monfils and Zverev slip up. The good news for him is that Kei Nishikori who is the player five points behind him is out injured at the moment.

Screenshot 2019-10-01 at 08.46.25

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