Andy Murray returns against Alexander Zverev at the Western and Southern Open
Andy Murray’s win over Kei Nishikori at the 2017 French Open was his most recent against a top-10 player

Britain’s Andy Murray earned his first win against a top-10 player since 2017 by beating Germany’s Alexander Zverev at the Western and Southern Open.

The 33-year-old Scot, playing his first top-level tournament since November after injury, won 6-3 3-6 7-5 against the world number seven to reach the third round in New York.

“It is a good effort to win that after not playing for a while,” said Murray.

Murray, ranked 129th in the world, will play Milos Raonic of Canada next.

Raonic beat British number one Dan Evans earlier on Monday, while British women’s number one Johanna Konta saw off Belgium’s Kirsten Flipkens.

The tournament is usually held in Cincinnati but was moved to Flushing Meadows to create a two-tournament safety bubble that also incorporates the US Open, which starts on 31 August.

Murray continues to defy the odds

Former world number one Murray, who had a second major hip surgery in January 2019, is again on the comeback trail after a long lay-off enforced by niggling injuries and the suspension of the professional tours because of the coronavirus pandemic.

After beating American wildcard Frances Tiafoe in the first round, he faced a sterner test of his fitness and form against 23-year-old Zverev.

Murray showed glimpses of his best in an impressive first set, when he used his court-craft and variety of shots to unpick Zverev’s game.

Murray’s level dipped towards midway through the second set as Zverev fought back to take the match into a decider, with Murray becoming annoyed at his failure to execute his shots.

He refocused to break for a 3-1 lead in the decider with a dipping cross-court winner, only for Zverev to show his resilience again by winning four games in a row to serve for the match.

However, Zverev’s major weakness has been his second serve and it is clear he has not solved that problem during the enforced break, producing five double faults as Murray claimed the final three games.

“The first two sets were very good, the third set very scrappy once I went ahead,” said three-time Grand Slam champion Murray.

“I don’t think either of us played very well as we got closer to the finishing line. I’m glad to get through it.”

Source: BBC Sport

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