After a trademark Andy Murray style comeback on Monday in Rotterdam the 2009 champion was up against the highest left remaining in the competition on Wednesday night in Andrey Rublev.
The day had already seen defeats for Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Roberto Bautista Agut in a whirlwind Wednesday in the Dutch City.
Murray began on serve and set out his intentions right away, he was sitting a little deep and happy to soak about pressure from Rublev as well as ask questions returning the Russian’s second serve almost 2 metres inside the baseline. This wasn’t enough to de-stable the 23 year old and back to back forehand winners sealed his opening game leaving them level at 1-1.
From there it continued to be a fascinating battle, Murray saw the first break point but couldn’t covert despite some phenomenal defence but in the opening nine games the Russian didn’t give out many errors.
The way Murray set out his stall so early on the Rublev second serve was fascinating from the first point as players usually find their way but all 14 in the opening nine games were returned with the Brit at least a metre inside the baseline and leading 5-4.
A quick hold followed for Rublev to level at 5-5 as the opening set edged closer to it’s conclusion.
A problem did arise for the 2009 champion who led 30-15 but a double fault set up a first break point for Rublev but a big serve down the T took them deuce. Another break point came for Rublev and a double fault was followed by a racket smash as Rublev broke and would serve for the set.
It didn’t go completely to plan for the Russian who slipped down 15-40 on serve following continued pressure from Murray especially on second serve but big credit to the Russian who used his powerful forehand to force him out of trouble and win a fun and intense set of tennis 7-5.
Murray did recover well in the opening exchanges back on serve in the second set and led the Russian 2-1 but after levelling at two a piece he began to grind through the gears again.
Rublev went onto dominate and continue his domination behind the forehand as he beat the former champion 7-6 6-2 to book his place in the final eight.
Overall there were plenty of positives for Murray in the match and his time in Rotterdam, a lot has been said lately about the Brit but if you can’t find positives from this week I would consider looking again.