De Minaur Holds Off Some Of Murray's Best In Zhuhai
Andy Murray turned in the best match of his singles comeback on Thursday, but it ended in a loss. #NextGenATP Aussie Alex de Minaur overcame the grit and determination of Murray, beating the former World No. 1 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 to reach the quarter-finals at the Huajin Securities Zhuhai Championships.
The two were on serve in the third until De Minaur broke to love at 4-4 when Murray netted a backhand. The 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals runner-up (l. to Tsitsipas) then held his nerve, erasing three break points to take the gruelling baseline affair that tested both player's physical capabilities.
Murray was playing in only his fourth tour-level contest of his comeback, but it was, without a doubt, his best match since he returned to the singles court at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati last month.
The 32-year-old played aggressively, moving De Minaur around the court with heavy forehands and serving efficiently, save for a second-set dip. Murray also more than held his own from the baseline with De Minaur, 12 years his junior.
Murray was trying to win back-to-back tour-level matches since last September at the Shenzhen Open. But De Minaur appeared the fresher of the two and found another gear to win their first FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting.
The Aussie will face Croatian Borna Coric for a place in the Zhuhai semi-finals. Coric, last week's St. Petersburg Open finalist, won 83 per cent of his second-serve points and beat Di Wu of China 6-3, 6-3.
The fourth seed has played some of his best tennis during the Asian Swing, making his first ATP Masters 1000 title match last October at the Rolex Shanghai Masters (l. to Djokovic). His final last week in Russia (l. to Medvedev) was his first since Shanghai.