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Zverev begins grass season in Halle with three-set win

  • Posted: Jun 18, 2024

Alexander Zverev navigated through a tricky opening-round test Tuesday at the Terra Wortmann Open, where the second-seeded German defeated countryman Oscar Otte 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4.

Aiming to go one step further than his two finalist appearances in Halle (2016, 2017), Zverev stayed patient to outlast Otte in baseline exchanges and capitalised in pressure moments with first-strike tennis to advance.

“A week ago, I was playing on clay still basically. He made it very tough for me, no rhythm at all,” Zverev said in his on-court interview. “That’s how grass-court tennis is sometimes and I’m just happy with the win. He did make it extremely difficult for me, so credit to him. I’m obviously happy that I won and hopefully it’s going to be a level above in the next match.”

The qualifier Otte routinely presented challenges to Zverev, often serve-and-volleying and absorbing the World No. 4’s firepower with off-pace slice. But the Roland Garros finalist stuck with his heavy hitting, crushing 54 winners to his 40 unforced errors, according to Infosys ATP Stats, to win in two hours, 17 minutes under the OWL Arena roof.

Zverev improved to 2-0 in his Lexus ATP Head2Head series with Otte, who has troubled the 22-time tour-level titlist in both of their meetings. Otte led Zverev two-sets-to-love in the first round of Roland Garros in 2021 before the two-time Nitto ATP Finals champion roared back to win and later reach the semi-finals.


The Rome champion, who is 35-10 on the season, next looks to extend his perfect 3-0 record against Italian Lorenzo Sonego.

Otte, No. 474 in the PIF ATP Rankings, was competing in his first tour-level event since Wimbledon last year. The 30-year-old revealed on Instagram in August 2023 that a knee injury suffered at the grass-court major required him to undergo surgery.


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Murray earns victory in 1000th match, advances at Queen's Club

  • Posted: Jun 18, 2024

Andy Murray earned victory in his 1000th tour-level match on Tuesday when he overcame Alexei Popyrin 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 at the cinch Championships.

The Scot is a record five-time champion at the Queen’s Club and he played with confidence against Popyrin to snap a four-match losing streak on Tour. Backed by a vocal crowd in London, Murray used his backhand slice to keep the ball low and hit through his forehand to dictate in the key moments.

“I didn’t realise, but my mum told me before the match that this was my 1000th match on the Tour,” Murray said in his on-court interview. “A lot of matches and a lot of wear and tear in the body and it is not easy but I managed to push through.”

With his one-hour, 51-minute win, Murray set a second-round clash with Australian Jordan Thompson. The former No. 1 in the PIF ATP Rankings has often produced his best level on grass, also winning Wimbledon twice (2013, 2016).

Murray holds a 32-9 record at the ATP 500 grass-court event, having won his first match at the tournament in 2005.

“During the match it is difficult but great reward at the end for the hard work and effort I put into the match,” Murray said. “I have not got too many wins this year, it has been a difficult season but did well to come through in the end. Held quite a few tight service games and managed to serve it out well.”

Active players to compete in 1,000 ATP Tour-level matches

Player Matches W-L
Novak Djokovic 1324 1105-219
Rafael Nadal 1300 1075-225
Fernando Verdasco 1006 559-447
Richard Gasquet 1004 605-399
Andy Murray 1000 739-261

In other action, Jack Draper, fresh off his maiden ATP Tour title in Stuttgart, continued his red-hot form by cruising past Mariano Navone 6-3, 6-2. At a career-high No. 31, Draper is competing as the British No. 1 for the first time this week.

That role seemed to fit the lefty well Tuesday, when he dropped just three points behind his first serve, according to Infosys ATP Stats, to advance after 54 minutes. The 22-year-old next clashes against top speed Carlos Alcaraz, who is 2-0 against Draper.

Giovanni Mpetshi Perricard earned a statement win when he upset sixth seed Ben Shelton 6-3, 7-6(3). French qualifier Mpetshi Perricard, who won his maiden tour-level title in Lyon last month, fired 16 aces to earn his first grass-court tour-level win. The 20-year-old is up eight spots to No. 59 in the PIF ATP Live Rankings. Shelton is now 19-13 on the season, having lost his past three matches.

Mpetshi Perricard will next play Billy Harris after the British wild card defeated Tomas Martin Etcheverry 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 to earn just his second tour-level win.

Fifth-seeded American Tommy Paul eliminated Sebastian Baez 6-4, 6-4, while Brandon Nakashima advanced after Daniel Evans retired with the score at 4-6, 6-3.


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