Sometimes in tennis you need a good draw to get some momentum going at an event but Andy Murray has not been dealt that luxury once again and this time in Vienna.
For the third time this season he will be up against Hubert Hurkacz, will Murray get his vengeance or will Hurkacz prevail once more?
It is late in the season but there are still prizes up for grabs, one of those is a place at the ATP Finals for the 24 year old who is on the cusp but will be looking over his shoulder.
Despite winning twice against Murray the Pole would have most likely liked an easier draw in Vienna than the Brit who also would like the points to be at a point of being a direct entrance into the Australian Open which the cutoff is the 8th of December.
Murray’s form of late for me has got better, it is just missing that run of wins. As I have touched on before there has been a slight theme in losing close sets and then slightly seeing a dip in concentration through that frustration of losing the opener.
Marseille – 6-7 1-6 (Gerasimov)
Rotterdam – 5-7 2-6 (Rublev)
Cincinnati – 6-7 3-6 (Hurkacz)
Winston-Salem – 6-7 3-6 (Tiafoe)
US Open – 6-2 6-7 6-3 3-6 4-6 (Tsitsipas)
Metz – 6-7 3-6 (Hurkacz)
San Diego – 5-7 4-6 (Ruud)
Indian Wells – 4-6 6-7 (Zverev) – Murray won 6-3 6-2 (Mannarino) and 5-7 6-3 6-2 (Alcaraz) before.
Antwerp – 4-6 6-7 (Schwartzman) – Murray won 7-6 6-7 7-6 vs Tiafoe in R1
All this has happened since Wimbledon, tough opponents here. He has lost 10 sets that have either been 5-7 or 6-7, imagine just a few the other way around? It has been fine margins.
As this Autumn period has moved on there has been big progress. San Diego and especially Indian Wells, we know how Murray isn’t a big fan of the dessert and speed (lack of it) of the courts but he played probably his best tennis since Wimbledon.
Last week in Antwerp, he pushed Diego hard and played Tiafoe in a 3 hours and 45 minutes match winning 7-6 6-7 7-6. As time has gone by since the summer months there has been an improvement in his movement and forehand and lets not forget he has been a pest for these top players and is doing all this with a metal hip!
Since Murray and Hubi have last played there has been a lot of tennis played, Hurkacz was on the end of a Dimitrov masterclass in California and needs the points for a bit of comfort in his quest to qualify for the ATP Finals.