Andy Murray and Ash Barty pay tribute to each other
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Andy Murray has warned his rivals he may well be on the comeback trail in the wake of his run to the quarter-finals of the Moselle Open. The 34-year-old beat Canadian Vasek Pospisil in straight sets to reach the last eight of the ATP 250 Series event on Wednesday.
Murray made good use of his returns to teach Pospisil a lesson in Metz, setting up a quarter-final clash with either Hubert Hurkacz or Lucas Pouille.
The three-time Grand Slam winner has been unable to hit the heights he once managed due to an ongoing hip injury he has been suffering with since 2017.
He admirably took Greek third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas to five sets after being handed a tough first round draw at the US Open, but ultimately crashed out at the first hurdle.
Murray got back onto the court with an appearance at a Challenger event in Rennes last week, and is now making good progress in the Moselle Open 400 miles east.
The former Wimbledon champion said after his win over Pospisil that he was pleased with how many matches he had been able to take part in recently.
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“I’ve not played this many tournaments in a while and my body feels good,” Murray said.
“I’m gaining confidence and seeing the points develop and how I want to play them again.
“The results are coming and my tennis is getting better.”
While he was in jubilant mood after the conclusion of the contest, Murray was less pleased with himself at times during the match.
After losing his serve at the start of the second set, the Scot was visibly angry at himself and ended up having to apologise after hitting a ball away in anger after one point.
He managed to gather himself, though, and broke back in the sixth game before going on to win 6-3. 6-3.
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“I was trying to make him work on his service games, and he has an excellent serve, then likes to dictate with the first ball after,” Murray said after the match on Amazon Prime.
“I was trying to focus on getting lots of returns back and then when I got the opportunity I was trying to put some pressure on him, I think I did that well.
“For the most part, I served pretty good, lost my rhythm a bit at the end of the first set, start of the second, but I returned well and played a smart match.
“Even after I was a break down, I was still creating chances and once I got back into the second set I gained a bit of confidence and was a little bit more offensive, that was what turned the match for me.”
That victory was Murray’s 684th in singles tennis over the course of his long career, and has set himself the target of surpassing the 700 mark before he hangs up his racket.
“There are two things that matter – your effort and your attitude,” he said after beating sixth seed Ugo Humbert in the round of 32.
“Which is probably number one, as that’s what you can control. For me sport is about that. You either win or lose.
“Winning is what sport is all about, and if you can play great whilst doing that even better. But if you can’t, and you don’t play your best, then winning is a great feeling.
“That’s why I am still playing. I have little goals – to get to 700 wins on tour.
“I’m not particularly interested in losing and playing well.”
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