Former world number one Andy Murray got going and registered a very big win at the Washington Open on August 1 while Alexander Zverev will take on his brother Mischa in his next match at the competition.
Murray, who has fallen to outside the top 800 in the ATP Rankings because of his hip injury, overcame fellow Briton Kyle Edmond in his second round match in three sets to set up a meeting with Marius Copil. This as on the lines of what we predicted in our Washington Open tips & predictions piece here.
His injury had laid him off for 11 months and while Murray had earlier beaten Mackenzie McDonald in his opener at the competition, this win against Edmond would specially raise his hopes heading into the US Open. In his own words, Murray called it his “best win” since his return to the ATP tour.
Murray needed a tie-breaker in the opening set before winning it in three sets. Copil, who had beaten Mirza Basic in his opening round encounter, sent the 14th seeded Jeremy Chardy packing in his second round match.
Speaking to the media at the end of that victory that needed him more than two hours and 30 minutes on court, Murray said:
“That has been my best win since I started playing again. It’s a great win for me. It’ll give me more confidence going forward.”
World number three Zverev booked his third round place by breaking into no sweat when he beat Tunisia’s Malek Jaziri 6-2, 6-1, while his older brother Mischa Zverev, who is seeded 15th in this tournament, needed a second set tie-breaker to brush off Tim Smyczek 6-2, 7-6 (9-7).
The duo has never played each other at the ATP circuit but Alex did say they have had a lot of contests going for them in the backyard.
“We played the final of Wimbledon a lot of times in our backyard. I was 12. He was 22. I don’t think I ever won. But this is on hardcourt.”
There wasn’t as good a news for defending US Open champion Sloane Stephens though, who crashed out of the tournament in the second round.
This would have come as bad news for the organisers too who had earlier lost the top seed Caroline Wozniacki to a leg injury, and with both fourth and fifth seeds Ekaterina Makarova and Aleksandra Krunic also bowing out, the onus will now be on Naomi Osaka and Belinda Bencic to take things forward.