WASHINGTON, Aug 2, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – Three-time Grand Slam winner Andy
Murray collected the biggest victory of his injury comeback Wednesday at the
ATP and WTA Washington Open while defending champion Alexander Zverev booked
a matchup with his older brother.
Murray, sidelined by a right hip injury for 11 months until returning in
June, ousted fourth seed Kyle Edmund 7-6 (7/4), 1-6, 6-4 in an all-British
matchup to reach the third round of the hardcourt tuneup for the US Open.
“That has been my best win since I started playing again,” Murray said.
“It’s a great win for me. It’ll give me more confidence going forward.”
World number three Zverev defeated Tunisia’s Malek Jaziri 6-2, 6-1, to send
the 21-year-old German top seed into his first ATP match against 30-year-old
Mischa Zverev, the 15th seed who beat American Tim Smyczek 6-2, 7-6 (9/7).
“We played the final of Wimbledon a lot of times in our backyard,” Alex
Zverev said. “I was 12. He was 22. I don’t think I ever won. But this is on
On a day when reigning US Open champion Sloane Stephens was ousted by
Germany’s Andrea Petkovic and Australian Nick Kyrgios withdrew with a sore
left hip, Murray stole the show with an impressive victory.
“Hopefully my body will adapt to the matches and get back to what it’s
supposed to be doing,” Murray said.
“As the weeks progress, I hope to have more days like today where the
pressure and the expectations all grow.”
Former world number one Murray, now ranked 832nd, outlasted his 18th-ranked
rival, breaking on a forehand return winner to advance after two hours and 32
“Now I have to get my body to play that way consistently and work on
getting better with every match,” Murray said.
The 31-year-old Scotsman, who unleashed a primal scream and flurry of fist
pumps after winning his opener, wiped away sweat this time before eventually
pointing to the heavens, punching the air with his right fist and pumping his
fist with satisfaction.
“Much better in terms of the way I played,” Murray said. “Got a lot more
points off my forehand. I was able to be more aggressive. I wanted to dictate
more points and be inside the baseline, especially on the main points and
particularly in the third set.
“I was less nervous. I increased my intensity at the end of the second set.
I thought I did that well.”
Romania’s 93rd-ranked Marius Copil, who ousted French 14th seed Jeremy
Chardy 6-4, 6-4, will face Murray on Thursday for a quarter-final berth.
– No. 3 Stephens stumbles –
Third-ranked Stephens lost to 91st-rated Andrea Petkovic 2-6, 6-4, 6-2.
Stephens, who won the Miami Open in March, made a run to the French Open
semi-finals but stumbled early in her first hardcourt stop before defending
her first Grand Slam title.
“Hopefully some things will connect in the next few weeks coming into the
US Open,” Stephens said.
Petkovic, down a set and a break, rallied and won the final four games to
reach the quarter-finals, her first victory over a top-10 foe since beating
then-number five Garbine Muguruza at Doha in 2016.
“It’s definitely a confidence boost,” Petkovic said.
Japanese third seed Naomi Osaka, ranked 17th, is the only top-45 player
remaining in the women’s draw.
– Injured Kyrgios ‘gutted’ –
Kyrgios, ranked 17th, tweeted he was “gutted” to withdraw over the same
injury that caused him to retire from an Atlanta Open quarter-final last
“I haven’t had enough time to be ready,” Kyrgios said. “The physio
recommended a couple of days of rest, rehab and treatment. I’ve got ample
time for it to settle down before Toronto.
“It’s disappointing. But at this stage I can’t risk aggravating the injury.
Last year I wasn’t healthy at the US Open so I want to be right for that.”