Murray overcomes Hanfmann challenge in Swiss Indoors opener

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Murray overcomes Hanfmann challenge in Swiss Indoors opener
Basel: The former No. 1 Andy Murray defeated German Yannick Hanfmann 7-5, 6-4 to reach the second round at the Swiss Indoors Basel, snapping a three-match losing streak.

The Brit will next face Argentine Tomas Martin Etcheverry, who ousted eighth seed Sebastian Korda 6-3, 1-6, 6-3.

This is Murray’s third appearance at the ATP 500 event. He reached the second round last year and had not previously played in Basel since 2005.

“It was tough. The first four or five games were something like 45 minutes,” Murray was quoted by ATP Tour. “I don’t remember having that really before, it was ridiculous. And then had a chance at the end of the first set, didn’t get it and just managed to sneak a break at the end. Up again in the second, couldn’t quite finish it, but did well to respond and get the break at the end. Played a great point obviously on the match point to finish.”

Elsewhere, Jan-Lennard Struff snapped a four-match losing streak on Monday, when he eliminated American Christopher Eubanks 7-6(7), 6-4.

The big-serving German saved one set point in the first-set tie-break at 6/7 before he won 88 per cent (15/17) of points behind his first serve in the second set to earn his first Top 50 hard-court win of the season after one hour and 36 minutes.

He will next play fourth-seed Hubert Hurkacz or Serbian Dusan Lajovic.

On the other hand, Dutch qualifier Botic van de Zandschulp battled past former World No. 9 Roberto Bautista Agut 7-5, 6-7(3), 6-2. The 28-year-old converted six of his 16 break points to set a second-round match against sixth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime or another wild card, home favourite Leandro Riedi.

In other action, Sebastian Baez clawed past Christopher O’Connell 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-3 to improve to 2-0 in the pair’s ATP Head-to-Head series. The Argentine Baez captured his first title on hard courts in Winston-Salem in August.

The 22-year-old will next meet top seed Holger Rune or Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic. Rune is currently eighth in the ATP Live Race To Turin and will seek a deep run in Basel to boost his Nitto ATP Finals qualification hopes.


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