Murray Surges Past Haase In Rotterdam Comeback
Currently No. 123 in the FedEx ATP Rankings, Murray outlasted Haase after two hours and 29 minutes as the match became a physical battle. He struck 33 winners including six aces en route to his first tour-level victory since the 2020 US Open.
"I found a way and actually at the end started to play a bit better. From the mental side and the physical side was positive. I thought I moved pretty well," Murray said. "I played for two-and-a-half hours and my hips and groin and stuff felt good, so that was positive. But from a tennis side it was average at best."
Haase gave Murray plenty of trouble with several highlight-reel worthy shots in the pair’s entertaining battle. Murray, who has been working his way back to fitness after a major hip injury, was contesting his second tour-level match of the year.
The Scot needed a few games to settle into the match, but Haase didn’t give him any respite as he got off to a double-break 4-1 lead in the first set. In the second, Haase had two chances to take the lead at 3-3 before Murray lifted his level, saving both break points on the back of strong first serves.
Murray took the second set after a tie-break, but found himself in trouble again in the third as Haase opened up a 3-0 lead with an early break. Murray continued to hang in the rallies and managed his emotions to stay in the contest, going on a six-game run to seal his spot in the second round.
"I think from the mental side, I did really well to win because I was really struggling with my game for probably about an hour-and -a-half of that match. I haven’t really felt like that many times in my career," Murray said. "I was mistiming the ball, it was very strange. I didn’t quite know what to do out there and then when I sort of did feel I was making the right decisions, I was just mistiming the ball. It wasn’t coming off my racquet like usual."
The victory improves Murray’s ATP Head2Head record against Haase to 5-1. Interestingly, Haase’s only win over Murray came in Rotterdam when the pair contested their first ATP Tour meeting here in 2008.