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Autumn Tournaments - Run up to the World Tour Finals 2019

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 17 Sep 2019, 8:54 am

First topic message reminder :

All four Slams completed now and we're on to the Asian Swing, followed by the European indoor season and, finally, the O2's penultimate hosting of the year-end championship.

Medvedev, after his New York heroics, is competing in St Petersburg this week and could meet Viola of Italy, who beat Andy Murray in Majorca a couple of weeks ago.

Andy is due to pay a number of tournaments coming up. He says he's feeling fine and just needs the matches.

The Big Three plus Medvedev have already qualified for the O2. Tsitsipas should make it but after that it's a bit of a scramble.

Rafa leads Djoko in the year-so-far points table but the Spaniard is getting married next month and will miss some tournaments. Djoko's aiming to play in Asia but it remains to be seen how well he copes with his injury. Novak also has a huge number of points to defend.

There's an almighty race on to see which woman will be year-end number one. Barty has a tiny lead over Pliskova at the moment, with Halep and Andreescu also having a chance to reach the top by the end of the year.


Last edited by sirfredperry on Wed 18 Sep 2019, 10:38 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by CaledonianCraig Mon 07 Oct 2019, 12:31 pm

Juan Ignacio Londero wins the first set 6-2 against Andy Murray. Hitting big and hitting deep and moving Murray around.
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Post by CaledonianCraig Mon 07 Oct 2019, 1:11 pm

Murray hits back to win the second set 6-2 and into a decider it goes.
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Post by CaledonianCraig Mon 07 Oct 2019, 1:59 pm

Andy Murray wins 2-6 6-2 6-3. Improved as the match went on and played some good stuff in the third set. In the second round he'll play Fabio Fognini . All very valuable ranking points for him too as he starts that long climb back up the rankings as he is now into the 240s according to ATP's Live Ranking.
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Post by sirfredperry Mon 07 Oct 2019, 4:47 pm

Another step in the right direction for Murray today. Who knows what to expect tomorrow against Fognini who is mercurial to say the least.


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Post by lags72 Tue 08 Oct 2019, 8:54 am

Andy M is putting in some truly impressive performances if you think back to where he was just months ago..... when he wouldn’t have backed himself to beat a county player. Now he’s troubling big names again. Full respect for his determination, commitment - and sheer hard work.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Tue 08 Oct 2019, 10:14 am

Seemingly, Andy Murray is confirmed for the Australian Open and will enter with a protected ranking of No 2 seed.
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Post by CaledonianCraig Tue 08 Oct 2019, 1:58 pm

Murray and Fognini level at one set all. Fognini took the first set on a tie-break and Murray has just won the second set 6-2.
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Post by CaledonianCraig Tue 08 Oct 2019, 3:09 pm

A bitter sweet match for Murray which he loses 6-7 6-2 6-7. He served twice for the match in the third set but couldn't see it out and lost the tie-break tamely by his old standards. A match he could and should have won but standard of play in general from both was great.
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Post by Oioi Tue 08 Oct 2019, 3:14 pm

I knew he'd lose as soon as he decided to go ballistic at Fognini on the changeover as he was about to have his second attempt to serve for the match. Surely he should know that Fognini is the sort of player who is most dangerous when motivated, and what better motivation is there than getting back at an opponent that tells you to shut up. Thought that was a huge mistake for Murray to unleash his tirade at such a critical point in the match.

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 08 Oct 2019, 3:48 pm

Disappointing that Andy, twice, could not serve it out, but a 3hr 9 min struggle gives him plenty of match practice.

Fognini will probably go out tamely in the next round which makes this defeat all the more galling.

Three years ago R-Vinolas shocked Fed at Shanghai but today Rog managed a straight-sets victory marked by dominant serving. Mind you, he was 1-4 down in the second-set tiebreak before coming thru".

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Post by lags72 Tue 08 Oct 2019, 5:58 pm

CaledonianCraig wrote:Seemingly, Andy Murray is confirmed for the Australian Open and will enter with a protected ranking of No 2 seed.

No. 2 seed ...... Headscratch Headscratch

There is a typo here, surely .... ??!

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Post by CaledonianCraig Tue 08 Oct 2019, 6:05 pm

lags72 wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote:Seemingly, Andy Murray is confirmed for the Australian Open and will enter with a protected ranking of No 2 seed.

No. 2 seed ...... Headscratch Headscratch

There is a typo here, surely .... ??!

Only going by what is being reported on the BBC Sport website:-

Announcing his return, the Australian Open said Murray would "return to the main draw with a protected ranking of number two and restored physical powers".
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Post by No name Bertie Tue 08 Oct 2019, 8:40 pm

Andy Murray not only has returned with a metalised hip, he is also older - 32 years old.  So he is battling at least two things - permanent change to his hip and father time.  

He is pushing what is possible with the hip technology and time will tell how well it will all hold up.  

If Murray had stuck with Challenger level then he might be getting to the stage of winning them.  Tournament fitness is best judged at Challenger or even Future's level.  Whatever - he is getting into some long three set matches - and seems to be coping - except for perhaps the fitness level.  I don't think Murray has ever had a killer go to power shot that allowed him to keep points short.

His opponents if they are at a certain level of talent and fitness, will have confidence that they would be able to outlast and beat Murray and should have a plan to keep Murray running and moving from side to side - especially the longer the tournament goes on.

Ps How is Murray's serving in the key games?  Does he play serve and volley (rush forward after serving), hold back (push back to the baseline), or vary it (S&V and baseline).  I assume his serve is not an outright killer shot - which will allow his opponents a chance to break it when needs must.

pps: It seems that Murray in the Fognini match was disturbed by a noise as he was about to serve - and Murray was unsure whether that noise came from the crowd or from Fognini in an act of unsportsmanship.   Then while Murray was looking to identify where the noise came from Fognini piped up with his De Niro Are You Looking At Me routine - which wound up Murray further.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/tennis/49975167

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Post by sirfredperry Wed 09 Oct 2019, 2:50 pm

Djoko, Goffin and Zverev among winners in Shanghai today.

In Linz, Coco Gauff, having failed to qualify, got in as an LL, won her first match and today has gone thru after her opponent had to retire early in the third set. At 15 years old, she has got into the top 100.

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 10 Oct 2019, 8:08 am

So much for my prediction that Fognini would crash out after beating Murray. The Italian has gone thru after beating Khachanov in straight set sets.

Fognini will now face Medvedev who is also thru after two longish sets with Pospisil.

LATER: Heather Watson, who has been having a fairly wretched season, has beaten the number two seed and 22-ranked Qiang Wang 6-3, 6-0 in Tianjin. Wang only won nine points in the second set (injured/ill perhaps, or is this detracting from Watson's welcome win?)

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Post by Born Slippy Thu 10 Oct 2019, 1:43 pm

CaledonianCraig wrote:
lags72 wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote:Seemingly, Andy Murray is confirmed for the Australian Open and will enter with a protected ranking of No 2 seed.

No. 2 seed ...... Headscratch Headscratch

There is a typo here, surely .... ??!

Only going by what is being reported on the BBC Sport website:-

Announcing his return, the Australian Open said Murray would "return to the main draw with a protected ranking of number two and restored physical powers".

Unless there has been a rule change I’m unaware of, he will not be seeded. His PR of 2 just gives him entry to the event, it does mean he is seeded.

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Post by lags72 Thu 10 Oct 2019, 2:30 pm

Born Slippy wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote:
lags72 wrote:
CaledonianCraig wrote:Seemingly, Andy Murray is confirmed for the Australian Open and will enter with a protected ranking of No 2 seed.

No. 2 seed ...... Headscratch Headscratch

There is a typo here, surely .... ??!

Only going by what is being reported on the BBC Sport website:-

Announcing his return, the Australian Open said Murray would "return to the main draw with a protected ranking of number two and restored physical powers".

Unless there has been a rule change I’m unaware of, he will not be seeded. His PR of 2 just gives him entry to the event, it does mean he is seeded.

@ BS what you say makes perfect sense (and I’m assuming you intended to write “it does not mean he is seeded ....” ?).

I just couldn’t fathom how Andy could be seeded at number 2 ...... which would put him above Rafa and Rog ..... not to mention so many others too ......

Meanwhile back in Shanghai ...... such a strong QF line-up after today’s matches ! The one remaining spot will go to either Zverev or Rublev  ..... with Zverev looking the most likely as I write .....

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 10 Oct 2019, 6:44 pm

Goffin gave Rog a good match which has not always been the case in the past. The Belgian had set points in the first set and led in the tiebreak but still went down in straight sets.

As Lags said, it's a quality q-f line-up.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 11 Oct 2019, 7:46 am

There's no stopping Medvedev. Just when you think he'll run out of steam he conjures up another win, taking out Fognini.

This sets up a potential s-f clash with Djoko. The Russian's run must be one of the best (the best?) for players outside the big four for many years.

Didn't another Russian, Marat Safin, go on an equally spectacular run around 2000? A good finish to the season could see Medvedev getting into the top three.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 11 Oct 2019, 9:47 am

Djokovic's out - beaten in three sets by Tsitsipas. Didn't see that coming.

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Post by slashermcguirk Fri 11 Oct 2019, 9:57 am

very poor loss by Djokovic. There is no doubt that his performance outside of the slams is waning. I know he won Tokyo last week but he used to be so dominant at the Masters events. He should have beaten Tsitsipas today, particularly having been a set up. Djokovic of old would have won in straight sets today

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Post by No name Bertie Fri 11 Oct 2019, 10:16 am

As the body gets older the recovery from one match to the next (during a tournament) takes longer. As long as Djokovic is not injured and is just taking precautions in not over extending himself when his body is heading towards a breakdown, then hopefully he will be fit for the end of year tournament as well as the Australian Open.

The next generation are using the Masters and ATP500's to develop a pecking order amongst themselves. Medvedev looks to be the best of this lot and he continues his amazing hard court run.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 11 Oct 2019, 11:59 am

Heather Watson has just completed an amazing win against 42-ranked Magda Linette. Three-hour match in which both had MPs and which went to a final set tiebreak.

Very welcome win for Watson who has had a stinker of a season.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 11 Oct 2019, 1:18 pm

Fed has just saved five MPs to force a final set with Zverev who served for the match at 6-5 in the second set.

Djoko didn't manage a single BP in the last two sets against Tsitsipas, who, by all accounts, served very well.

This increases Rafa's chances of finishing year-end number one. Rather depends if a newly-married Rafa is fit enough/can be bothered to play Paris and O2.

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Post by MrInvisible Fri 11 Oct 2019, 1:31 pm

Nice to see a strong finish to season for Tsitsipas after his slump over the summer. Can he follow-up with a win over the summer's form player Medvedev? The recent improved form has allowed Tsitisipas to qualify for the end of year Masters. Agree that the new players are starting to step up at Masters level. Also interesting to see that Djokovic can be vulnerable to aggressive baseliners with single-handed backhands (e.g. Wawrinka, Thiem as well as Tsitsipas) in a way that Nadal is a bit more immune to.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 11 Oct 2019, 2:05 pm

Zverev did well to get over the disappointment of squandering five MPs to take the third set and the match.

Means we're actually going to get a big tournament won by somebody under the age of 30!

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Post by lags72 Fri 11 Oct 2019, 7:38 pm

Not sure if I somehow stumbled into a parallel world ..... but I’ve just seen a clip of Roger Federer being deducted a point by the Umpire, seemingly for ball abuse, on his way to a loss to Zverev. Did that penalty actually happen .....or did I dream it ??! Shocked Shocked

What a great result for Tsitsipas in taking out Djokovic, and qualifying for London at the same time. He and Zverev both seem to have found their mojo - albeit at the end of the season. Here’s hoping they can take the same form into their 2020 campaigns.

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Post by sirfredperry Fri 11 Oct 2019, 8:53 pm

Apparently Rog got tetchy with not only the umpire but also with a journalist who, quite rightly, raised the penalty-point matter at the media conference afterwards.

Been watching some clips of H.Watson's gallant win. First, there was no crowd at all. Completely flat atmosphere. Watson had an MP in the second set and then had to ward off three MPs (sounds like the House of Commons) when she was 0-40 down on serve towards the end of the final set.

Coco Gauff has certainly made the most of her LL spot in Linz, beating top seed Kiki Bertens for a place in the s-f.

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Post by laverfan Sat 12 Oct 2019, 3:55 am

Glad to see the younger players pushing the elders. None of the geriatric ones really want to relinquish, though. Federer clearly showed disappointment for losing to Zverev.

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Post by lags72 Sat 12 Oct 2019, 5:03 am

Zverev played spectacularly well (based on extended highlights just seen) and seemed to be everywhere. I don’t think anyone could have stopped him in that sort of mercurial form. Federer wasn’t too far from his own best at times, so it really was - or at least should be - a true confidence-booster for Sasha. Maybe he can retain his WTF title in London ...... where he took down Djokovic last year in straights.

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Post by sirfredperry Sat 12 Oct 2019, 8:27 am

Heather Watson has reached the final in Tianjin with a straight-sets win over Kudermetova and will now play the final against Swede Rebecca Peterson.

Watson has certainly been too low at rank 125 and will now climb to at least around 80. This run has redeemed her season which has been wretched up to this point.

As for the men's semis in Shanghai, I think Zverev will win but the other semi is a bit of a toss-up. Medvedev is on a remarkable run so is favourite but I have a sneaking feeling Tsitsipas will go thru'.

In Linz Coco Gauff has a semi against Andrea Petkovic of Germany and has a real chance of making the final.

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Post by No name Bertie Sat 12 Oct 2019, 10:16 am

I don't think Britain will see another "Andy Murray" men or women's version for another fifty years - despite all the various LTA projects and funding of white elephants. The only individuals to "make it" on a professional level have been children of professional tennis coaches, tennis professionals or some other sporting professional, or imports from elsewhere. Who needs the LTA?

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Post by sirfredperry Sat 12 Oct 2019, 11:27 am

Medvedev's wonderful run carries on as he beats Tsitsipas 7-6, 7-5. So much for my prediction that the Greek would win.

Medvedev continues to keep proving me wrong and is putting together arguably the best season that a non-Big Four player has compiled for many years.

You probably have to go back to the early noughties and the days of Kuerten, Safin, Hewitt and Roddick to find similar runs.

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Post by sirfredperry Sat 12 Oct 2019, 5:52 pm

Medvedev will meet Zverev in the Shanghai final after the German won in straight sets.

Medvedev has now reached the final in his last six tournaments. Who saw this coming? Doubt he got a mention when we made our predictions for 2019 at the end of last year.

Meanwhile Coco Gauff has reached the final in Linz and will play 2017 French Open champion Ostapenko who has been languishing in the bottom half of the top 100.

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Post by laverfan Sat 12 Oct 2019, 9:41 pm

sirfredperry wrote:Medvedev has now reached the final in his last six tournaments.

He may do the same at O2, and perhaps get the trophy!

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 13 Oct 2019, 10:18 am

Just been watching some highlights of Watson's semi in Tianjin. When she plays like this - aggressive, good ball-striking, good movement - you wonder what's she's been doing outside the top 100.

Reckon she'll win her final today. The Gauff-Ostapenko final in Linz should be good.

Meanwhile in Shanghai, can Zverev put a stop to Medvedev's scintillating run? I keep writing the Russian off and I keep getting it wrong.

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 13 Oct 2019, 10:18 am

Just been watching some highlights of Watson's semi in Tianjin. When she plays like this - aggressive, good ball-striking, good movement - you wonder what's she's been doing outside the top 100.

Reckon she'll win her final today. The Gauff-Ostapenko final in Linz should be good.

Meanwhile in Shanghai, can Zverev put a stop to Medvedev's scintillating run? I keep writing the Russian off and I keep getting it wrong.

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 13 Oct 2019, 11:13 am

Well, the simple answer to whether Zverev could stop Medvedev was "no" after an emphatic 4 and 1 win by the Russian. That's another 1,000 points for Med who has a chance of ousting Fed from the number three spot.

Med is due to play in Moscow this week. It's only a 250-pointer and he might be well advised to give it a miss and concentrate on Paris and London where the big points are at the end of the season.

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Post by No name Bertie Sun 13 Oct 2019, 12:20 pm

Medvedev's performance in the US Open against Rafael Nadal proved that he was the real deal.

At the Shanghai Masters he has demonstrated again that he is best of the rest by a fair margin and now has to be discussed alongside Nadal and Djokovic (and Federer?) as a favorite for next years grand slams.

It is his ability to navigate himself through tournaments and then up his game again in the semi-finals and finals that marks him out as a future slam winner. He just has to ensure that he remains healthy.

Standing at nearly 2 metres tall (6'6") and with a lanky physique - I didn't think he had the right body type for this level of performance and consistency.

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 13 Oct 2019, 1:06 pm

NNB - Of course Med has done the so-called easy bit by climbing quickly up the rankings. Now for the hard bit - staying there.

We saw with Dimi at the end of 2017 and with Zverev at the end of last 2018 that a strong finish to a year doesn't necessarily lead to good results the following year.

However, Medvedev's run is much longer and far more impressive than anything any of the current young guns has achieved. He's already had wins over Djoko and no one will fancy being in the Russian's half of the draw in Melbourne.

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Post by No name Bertie Sun 13 Oct 2019, 2:21 pm

Milos Raonic's 2016 season sort of springs to mind - start of the year and an Australian Open semi-final then through to a Wimbledon final and #3 in the world rankings.  But then injury and intermittent injury pushed him back to a bit part player.

Medvedev's post Wimbledon hard court season has seemed like an off-on change in performance level.  A bit like the run Johanna Konta went on - but she never reached such heights, intensity, consistency as Medvedev is currently on.  In terms of Medvedev's ranking history - it is consistent with a young player making steady progress with step changes up the rankings (and no setbacks).

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 13 Oct 2019, 2:57 pm

Heather Watson was a break up early in both sets of her final but went down 6-4, 6-4. Nevertheless, it's been a very encouraging week for the Briton and a welcome rise up the rankings.

In Linz, the remarkable Gauff has taken the title, beating Ostapenko 6-3, 1-6, 6-2. Amazing to think that she was beaten in qualifying and becomes that rare thing - an LL title winner.

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Post by sirfredperry Sun 13 Oct 2019, 3:32 pm

More woe for Kyle Edmund who seems all at sea at the moment. He took a WC into qualifying at Antwerp and has just lost to Gombos.

Wonder if he should step down and play some Challengers between now and the end of the season to get some confidence-boosting wins.

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Post by laverfan Sun 13 Oct 2019, 3:39 pm

Congratulations to Medvedev!

He has come a long way from ...


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Post by sirfredperry Sun 13 Oct 2019, 6:08 pm

It's not only different having a non-Big Four player so dominant but also Med himself is a bit different.

His style, the way he hits the ball, his shot selection, is unusual. His comments are not run-of-the-mill either. He can be a touch controversial. He's not always behaved well.

But he is about to end with a season unmatched by a non-Big Four player for years.

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 15 Oct 2019, 7:41 am

Dan Evans beat Tomic in three sets in Stockholm to mark his first appearance as British number one.

Andy Murray has - on paper - an easy first match tonight in Antwerp and will probably face Pablo Cuevas in the next round.

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 15 Oct 2019, 7:41 am

Dan Evans beat Tomic in three sets in Stockholm to mark his first appearance as British number one.

Andy Murray has - on paper - an easy first match tonight in Antwerp and will probably face Pablo Cuevas in the next round.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Tue 15 Oct 2019, 8:41 pm

Andy Murray beats Coppeljans 6-4 7-6. His live ranking climbs from No 243 to No 224.
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Post by sirfredperry Tue 15 Oct 2019, 9:07 pm

Probably a bit tougher for Murray than expected but he's through. He was a break down at one point in the second set but broke back for 3-3.

Good news is that he's getting at least two matches a week and building up match practice/fitness.

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Post by sirfredperry Thu 17 Oct 2019, 9:54 am

Medvedev, quite sensibly, has pulled out of Moscow where fellow Russian Khachanov saved five MPs to edge Kohlschreiber.

Dan Evans went down in three to Krajinovic in Stockholm. Andy Murray takes on Cuevas in Antwerp tonight.

Coco Gauff was well beaten in straight sets in her first match in Luxembourg.

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