Facebook Social Button Twitter Social Button Follow Us on InstagramYouTube Social Button
NewsScoresRankingsLucky Letcord PodcastShopPro GearPickleballGear Sale

By Richard Pagliaro | Monday, October 30, 2023


Alex de Minaur saved a match point stunning Andy Murray 7-6, 4-6, 7-5 in Paris—weeks after he saved three match points to topple Murray in Beijing.

Photo credit: Rolex Paris Masters Facebook

It was the night before Halloween and Andy Murray could not escape the Demon’s sticky shadow—nor sickening sense of deja vu.

Down 2-5 in the decider today, Alex de Minaur roared through five straight games—saving match point at 4-5—spooking Murray 7-6(5), 4-6, 7-5 in a wild Rolex Paris Masters opener.

It’s the second straight meeting de Minaur denied match point to deal Murray a heart-breaking loss.

In Beijing last month, de Minaur became just the fourth player to earn five straight wins against Murray when he fought off three match points at 2-5 crafting a 6-3, 5-7, 7-6(6) comeback conquest at the China Open.

Today’s second straight collapse from 5-2 up is an even more brutal loss for Murray, who served for the match for a second time at 5-4 in the third set.

This one will surely haunt Murray, who put himself in position to win, but tightened up a bit on the forehand at crunch time. Holding match point at 40-30, Murray engaged in a baseline rally when he flipped a forehand long. He never really recovered from that miss falling to de Minaur for the sixth straight time in as many meetings.

The 2016 Paris champion Murray has not won a match at the Rolex Paris Masters since he defeated John Isner in the 2016 final.

Acapulco champion de Minaur improved to 43-24 as he keeps his long-shot hope of becoming the first Aussie since Lleyton Hewitt in 2004 to qualify for the year-end ATP Finals.

The tenacious de Minaur, nicknamed “Demon” for his fierce competitiveness, really beat Murrray at his own game refusing to miss down the stretch and forcing the former No. 1 to try to create some offense rather than relying on the counter attack.

The 13th-seeded de Minaur converted five of six break points, including all three break points he earned in the final set.

An intense Murray won a punishing 30-shot rally to reach 30-all serving at 5-2 in the final set. Two points from the second round, Murray waved his racquet to exhort fans and perhaps buy recovery time after a grueling rally.

De Minaur shook off the disappointment and drilled a forehand return off the sideline for a break point. When Murray sprayed a forehand off the back foot, de Minaur had one break back for 3-5.

Serving for the match again, Murray held match point at 5-4, 40-30 but looped a forehand long to fall to deuce.

A full-stretch de Minaur returned dropped in on the baseline coaxing an error from a stunned Murray who wound up as if about to splatter his Head racquet across the court.

Going from match point to break point, Murray straight-armed a backhand into the top of the tape as de Minaur broke again to level after 10 games, while Murray wound up as if about to splatter his racquet off the court.

A raging Murray stuck his fist in his mouth as if on the verge of cannibalizing his own fingertips.

Across the net, the calm Aussie rifled a running forehand down the line that helped him hold for 6-5. From 2-5 down, de Minaur ran off four games in a row in a matter of minutes to put the former No. 1 under even more stress.

Serving at 5-6, Murray squandered a 40-15 lead netting a forehand then shoveling a forehand slightly beyond the baseline to face match point.

Festering frustration erupted in the former No. 1 as Murray shoveled a forehand off the tape of the tape that dribbled back on his side to end it. An irate Murray wound up and hammered his Head racquet off the court.

The 13th-ranked de Minaur erupted in a primal scream so fierce you could see the veins in his neck bulging as he moved into a second-round clash vs. either Serbian Dusan Lajovic or Frenchman Benjamin Bonzi next.

Tennis Express

It was a tough day for Americans.

Tokyo champion Ben Shelton smacked 15 aces and dropped serve only twice, but still lost to Alejandro Davidovich Fokina, 7-6(4), 5-7, 6-3 in two hours, 28 minutes.

World No. 26 Davidovich Fokina scored his 30th career Masters 1000 win and his sixth straight win over a left-handed opponent. Davidovich Fokina will face Tallon Griekspoor next.

Griekspoor pumped nine aces and dropped serve only once defeating American Christopher Eubanks 6-7(2), 6-3, 6-4.

Antwerp champion Alexander Bublik beat Frances Tiafoe 6-3, 6-4 on the strength of 11 aces.


Latest News