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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Tuesday September 21, 2021

Andy Murray

Andy Murray's first appearance at Metz in 14 years is underway in inspiring fashion.

Photo Source: AP

Andy Murray was in danger of being bundled out of the Moselle Open in his first appearance at Metz in 14 years, but the former World No.1 found a way to rally and eventually stormed past hometown favorite Ugo Humbert, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 to book a second-round clash with Canada’s Vasek Pospisil.

Tennis Express

“I felt like in the first set I had some chances,” Murray said after his win. “He played a little bit better when he had his opportunities. In the second and third set it was the other way.”

Murray, making his first appearance at Metz since 2007, when he finished runner-up after losing the final to Tommy Robredo, has now won 11 of his last thirteen three-setters.

Humbert was hoping to brighten the mood of the French faithful on a day that saw three other French players – Gilles Simon, Alexandre Muller and Arthur Rinderknech – upended on Court Central.

The World No.26 held up his end of the bargain early, saving all five break points he faced in a tight opening set that saw him break for 5-4 and convert his third set point a game later.

The second set was tense as well, but Humbert lost the handle and was broken in an extremely loose eighth game which gave Murray the chance to serve for the set at 5-3. Murray took it, ending the set with a backhand crosscourt winner.

After the match, World No.113 Murray talked about the difference he feels when he faces an opponent he is familiar with on tour. He improved to 2-0 lifetime against Humbert, with both wins earned in come from behind fashion, from a set down.

“I served better, and also I know Ugo’s game a lot better,” he said. “That’s one of the things I found quite difficult the last few years, when I’ve not been on the tour so much I don’t know so many of the players that well. It’s difficult sometimes to play against them and to find a way to win. Today I thought I had a good gameplan and I executed it pretty well.”

Murray entered the contest having lost his last two deciding sets, after winning ten consecutively from September 2019 to Wimbledon 2021.

Humbert had lost his last three, including a five-set loss to Peter Gojowczyk in the first round at the US Open. The Frenchman had won seven of eight deciders this summer, including four in his title run at Halle in June, prior to that.

It was Murray who drew first blood in the decider, breaking Humbert in the opening game of the third set. For good measure, he broke again for 3-0. Humbert was now reeling as the energy of the crowd dissipated.

Murray, who finished the evening with 18 aces, held again for 4-0. Humbert fought back down the stretch, but Murray hold him off to earn his best win by ranking of 2021.

Humbert has now lost four consecutive matches, dating back to his second-round defeat at the hands of Stefanos Tsitsipas at Toronto.

Murray improves to 7-7 on the season. He has not been ranked inside the Top 100 since June of 2018, but can crack that milestone with a few more wins in Metz.


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