By Sophie Afdhal, Sports Editor ||
While the world of tennis tends to be so focused on the Grand Slam tournaments, this week saw the completion of China’s Shenzhen Open with exciting results. In tennis, the best matches are the ones that are highly contested, the ones where you’re unsure who will win up until the very end. That’s exactly what happened when Scotsman Andy Murray took on Spaniard Tommy Robredo in the finals.
Battling for every point and initially not expected to succeed, Murray fought hard for a 5-7, 7-6(9), 6-1 win over Robredo. Though he trailed 2-6 in the second set tiebreaker, Murray was able to save five match points. The physical conditions of the match were intense and Robredo was unable to chase down shots, allowing Murray to clinch the win.
Murray also performed admirably in the semi-finals defeating Argentina’s Juan Monaco 2-6, 6-3, 6-0. They were 3-3 in the second set and then Murray won nine straight games to qualify for the finals.
Winning this tournament is no insignificant feat for Murray who has not won a title since his highly memorable win at Wimbledon in 2013.
This is also impressive in light of the health difficulties he has faced this year, having had back surgery. Murray recognizes what a setback this has been but is still hopeful for success at the end of the season.
According to the ESPN article, Murray said, “It’s been a tough year for me. The first few months coming back from back surgery were hard, then I lost a bit of confidence. But I’ve felt better the past few months and hopefully I can have a strong end to the season.”
Despite his recent obstacles, this win also represents his 29th tour level crown and an improvement to 29-14 in his finals record. This win was an important one for Murray in light of rankings. He began the tournament ranked 11th in the world and accepted a wildcard bid into the Shenzhen open to work on rankings. He earned 250 points this week, moving him to 10th in the Emirates ATP Race.
Murray must improve to number eight in order to qualify for the ATP finals in London in November. Murray will need to continue to perform well in the remaining Asian tournaments.
He will next compete in the ATP World Tour 500 Tournament in Bejing and the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event in Shanghai. We will see if come November, Murray is representing Scotland in the ATP finals.
Senior Sophie Afdhal is the Sports Editor. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.