© Moselle Open

Andy Murray beats Vasek Pospisil in straight sets behind four service breaks on Wednesday in Metz.

Murray Marches Past Pospisil In Metz

Former World No. 1 into first ATP Tour QF of 2021

Andy Murray’s return to form is gaining steam at the Moselle Open.

The former World No. 1 put forth a solid performance Wednesday evening in Metz to defeat Canadian Vasek Pospisil 6-3, 6-3 for a spot in the quarter-finals.

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This is the first time Murray has won consecutive matches since Wimbledon, where he reached the third round. The Scot will play top seed Hubert Hurkacz or home favourite Lucas Pouille in the last eight.

“This period has been the most tournaments I’ve played [recently] and my body feels good and I’m starting to gain just a little bit of confidence with each match. [I’m] starting to see the points and how I want to play them again, which is great,” Murray said in his on-court interview. “There have been times in the past year where I’ve been a little bit confused and not seeing how the points are developing and stuff, which for me was always a strong part of my game and it made me feel quite uncomfortable on the court when I was feeling that way.

“I’m starting to get that back and the results are coming and my tennis is getting better.”

Pospisil’s only previous win against a current or former World No. 1 came against Murray at Indian Wells in 2017. But Murray would not allow a repeat in France, breaking serve four times in his one-hour, 24-minute triumph to take a 5-1 lead in the pair’s ATP Head2Head series.

"I was trying to make him work a lot on his own service games," Murray said. "He’s got an excellent serve and likes to dictate with the first ball after the serve, so I was trying to focus on getting lots of returns back and then when I got the opportunity on the second serve, try and put some pressure on him. I think I did that well."

Murray cruised through the first set as his depth on return proved troublesome for the World No. 66. He broke twice to take the opener.

But Pospisil, who played aggressively, made things interesting to break to start the second set. Murray at times showed frustration, but he did not panic. The former World No. 1 took advantage of a loose service game to get back on serve and then yelled “Let’s go!” as he broke again following an approach to the net. Murray finished his win by serving out the match in the next game.

Second seed Pablo Carreno Busta completed the evening's action with a 7-5, 6-2 win against Sweden's Mikael Ymer. The Spaniard saved all nine break points he faced to advance after one hour and 32 minutes.

Next up for the World No. 16 will be #NextGenATP standout Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune. The Danish qualifier ousted fifth seed Lorenzo Sonego 6-7(6), 6-4, 6-4 after two hours and 40 minutes. Earlier in the day, former Top 10 star Pouille, rallied past Canadian qualifier Brayden Schnur 3-6, 6-4, 6-4 in one hour and 59 minutes.

German qualifier Peter Gojowczyk, who made the fourth round of the US Open as a qualifier, beat French lucky loser Antoine Hoang 6-2, 3-6, 6-4. Gojowczyk also beat Hoang in three sets in the final round of qualifying.

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