Andy Murray’s last quarter-final appearance was in January when he reached the final in Sydney
- France Press agency
- Last updated: June 10, 2022 at 10:45 Indochina Time
Andy Murray reached the quarter-finals for the first time in six months on Thursday when the unseeded Briton beat Alexander Bublik 6-3, 7-6 (7/4) at the Stuttgart Championships on grass.
Murray won the first set over his Kazakh opponent but had to drop 5-2 in the second set to claim the victory.
The former world number one said his confidence was improving after his victory over Publik in one hour and three quarters.
“It’s good to be back at this stage,” said Murray, who will face top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas for a place in the semi-finals.
“It was a solid win and I will try to qualify for the semi-finals.
“When I was in the second set it was frustrating, I was thinking about what I could do differently.
“He made some great shots – but some you wouldn’t know. The multiple falling shots were unexpected.”
Murray’s last quarter-final appearance was in January when he reached the final in Sydney.
A win over Tsitsipas on Friday would push the 35-year-old closer to returning to the top 50 for the first time in more than four years.
Tsitsipas learned former Swiss Open champion Dominic Stricker 6-3 6-4 in a match that was interrupted by rain, and the Greek advanced 2-0.
World number five Tsitsipas won his only previous match with Murray last August in the first round of the US Open in a five-set duel.
Playing on a wild card, Tsitsipas managed to win four aces to nine for the 200 world-ranked Stryker, but broke the 19-year-old twice.
“My game is designed for grass,” Tsitsipas said, “and I can achieve 100 percent good results on this surface.” But it may take some time.
“I want to get the most out of my game and push it to the limit.”
The 23-year-old, who has lost in the first round in three of his four matches at Wimbledon, said Murray would be a tough opponent on German grass.
“Andy is one of the best turf players. He came off injured but had some good victories over some of my teammates,” said the Greek.
“His game is definitely there, he’s one of the favorites here.
“He had a lot of fights on the grass and a lot of good victories.”
Nick Kyrgios needed nearly two hours to defeat Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia 6-7 (4/7), 6-4, 6-3 in cool evening temperatures after rain was delayed again.
The Australian, who said he’s limiting his season to 10 or 12 championships, was proud of the way he fought back.
“I’m proud of the way I played, I had to deal with a lot off the field (luggage issues on the plane, rain delays),” he said.
“It was a tough day, but I held up, lowered my head, it wasn’t easy.
“Basilashvili is a strong opponent, he is ranked 25th for a reason.”
On Friday, Kyrgios will play Hungarian Marton Fukowicz, who defeated Hubert Hurkacz 7-5, 6-7 (7/9), 6-3.
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