Thursday, December 8

Andy Murray sinks Stefanos Tsitsipas to reach Stuttgart semi-finals | Andy Murray


Andy Murray has claimed one of his biggest wins since undergoing hip surgery in 2019 by beating Stefanos Tsitsipas to reach the Boss Open semi-finals.

Murray, currently the world No 68, defeated the Greek top seed 7-6 (4) 6-3 in one hour and 40 minutes and will play Nick Kyrgios in the last four in Stuttgart.

It is the first time Murray has beaten a player ranked in the world’s top five since 2016. The 35-year-old Scot saved a set point at 6-6 in the opener before sealing it in a tie-break and broke Tsitsipas to move 4-2 up in the second on his way to clinching an impressive win on his third match point.

Tsitsipas, the world No 5, saved a break point in the seventh game as the opening set went with serve and failed to convert one of his own at 6-6 as Murray forced a tie-break. The Scot, who defeated seventh seed Alexander Bublik to reach the last eight of his first ATP Tour event of the season on grass, then clinched a mini-break to move 5-3 up and served out to seal it 7-4 in just under an hour.

Tsitsipas saved two match points on his serve at 5-2 down in the second set, but Murray then served out for the match. Murray’s only previous meeting with Tsitsipas was in the first round of the US Open last year, when he led by two sets to one only to lose in five.

Murray said in his on-court interview: “It was an amazing atmosphere. Almost full crowd. Beautiful weather today, really nice conditions to play tennis. I thought I did well. I have served unbelievably in the first set.

“I felt like I had very few chances, but when he was creating chances on my serve, I stayed strong. I played a really solid tie-break and in the second set, once I was in the rallies, I felt like I was dictating a lot of the points. It was a good performance.”

Dart’s Nottingham run ended by Riske

Harriet Dart’s bid to reach her first WTA Tour semi-final ended in defeat to Alison Riske at the Rothesay Open in Nottingham. The British No 3 took the opening set but her American opponent hit back to win 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 in two hours and 26 minutes.

Harriet Dart won the first set against Alison Riske but was denied by the American’s fightback. Photograph: Will Palmer/SWpix.com/Shutterstock

Dart was broken in the sixth game of the opening set to trail 4-2, but responded with two breaks of her own to take the first set in just over an hour. The sixth seed hit back in the second set, breaking Dart three times on her way to a 6-2 scoreline.

Dart held serve to lead 1-0 in the decider but fell away after that, broken on three more occasions as Riske reeled off the next six games to reach her sixth career semi-final on grass. She will face either Ajla Tomljanovic or Viktorija Golubic next.

The top seeds, Maria Sakkari, lost to the seventh seed, Beatriz Haddad Maia, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. The Brazilian will face the Czech Tereza Martincova in the semis after she defeated China’s fourth seed, Zhang Shuai, in straight sets, 6-3 6-2.

In the men’s ATP Challenger event, Liam Broady missed out on his chance to reach the last four after losing in three sets to Jack Sock 7-6 (3), 1-6, 6-4. Essex’s Ryan Peniston, the British No 7, saw his run ended by a 6-3, 6-4 defeat to Australia’s Alexei Popyrin in Friday’s opening quarter-final.


www.theguardian.com

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