Former World No. 1 Andy Murray will launch his China Open campaign in Beijing against U.S. Open semi-finalist Matteo Berrettini in the opening round.
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After winning his first tour-level singles match since hip resurfacing surgery against Tennys Sandgren in the opening round of Zhuhai this past week, Murray faces a tough assignment to claim his second victory, with eighth seed and U.S. Open semi-finalist Matteo Berrettini waiting in the first round at the 500-level China Open in Beijing.
If he can score what would be an upset over the powerful Berrettini, Murray would meet the winner of Cristian Garin or a qualifier in the second round, before a potential quarter-final showdown with top seed Dominic Thiem.
However, Berrettini is one of the more difficult opening rounds Murray could have drawn, with the Italian enjoying a superb breakout season on tour that has seen him rise from outside the top 50 to a current career-high ranking of No. 13, with the 23-year-old also winning two ATP titles in Budapest and Stuttgart to go with his dazzling U.S. Open semi-final run.
Andy Murray (PA Images)
Murray, a former champion in Beijing when he beat Grigor Dimitrov for the title in 2016, has been on the comeback trail for a couple of months now, starting with doubles during the grass swing and moving onto a singles comeback in Cincinnati and Winston-Salem, where he lost to Richard Gasquet and Sandgren respectively in the first rounds.
The three-time major champion dropped down to Challenger level during the U.S. Open and won a couple of matches at the Rafa Nadal Challenger in Mallorca, making the R16 before going down to Matteo Viola.
However, Murray – in his own words – showcased significant improvement upon his return to ATP level in Zhuhai last week, playing two matches that each went over two hours and 40 minutes and feeling no pain in his hip afterwards.
Murray was physically struggling, understandably, as he went down in three sets to Alex de Minaur after beating Sandgren, but the Scot was encouraged by his progress.
“My movement is much better than it was about six weeks ago, eight weeks ago,” Murray said. “It’s nice to finish a long match like that [the Sandgren win] and not have pain in my hip and problems sleeping afterwards.”
Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Dominic Thiem, Karen Khachanov, Roberto Bautista Agut and Gael Monfils are just some of the other big names in the star-studded China Open draw this upcoming week.
Thiem, the top seed, faces Richard Gasquet in the opening round and as mentioned, could meet Murray in the quarter-finals, while Zverev has a tough first round against the explosive Frances Tiafoe.
China Open: Murray handed tough first round in Beijing against Berrettini
Former World No. 1 Andy Murray will launch his China Open campaign in Beijing against U.S. Open semi-finalist Matteo Berrettini…
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