Murray comes from behind to beat Haase in Rotterdam

Robin Haase took the first set in Rotterdam, but Andy Murray bounced back to seal his place in the second round. Murray could meet Andrey Rublev for a place in the quarterfinals.

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Andy Murray produced a stirring comeback in the final set to overcome fellow wildcard Robin Haase at the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament on Monday.

Murray, who was dumped out in the first round of last week’s Open Sud de France, hit 33 winners on his way to a 2-6, 7-6(2), 6-3 triumph. It marked his first tour-level victory since the 2020 US Open.

The Scot got off to a slow start and found himself 4-1 down in the first set, with home favourite Haase comfortably seeing things out from there in the opener. Murray needed a tiebreaker to take the second set before finding himself 3-0 down in the decider. However, he put together a stunning six-game run to claim a fifth career victory over Haas in six meetings.

“I found a way and actually at the end started to play a bit better,” Murray assessed. “From the mental side and the physical side was positive. I thought I moved pretty well,” Murray said. “I played for two-and-a-half hours and my hips and groin and stuff felt good, so that was positive. But from a tennis side it was average at best.

“I think from the mental side, I did really well to win because I was really struggling with my game for probably about an hour-and -a-half of that match. I haven’t really felt like that many times in my career. I was mistiming the ball; it was very strange. I didn’t quite know what to do out there and then when I sort of did feel I was making the right decisions, I was just mistiming the ball. It wasn’t coming off my racquet like usual.”

Andy Murray, Montpellier 2021

Next up in the second round will be either No 4 seed Andrey Rublev or qualifier Marcos Giron.

Elsewhere, Kei Nishikori ended a run of four straight defeats with a 7-6(4), 6-1 victory over seventh seed Felix Auger-Aliassime to set up a clash against Alex de Minaur or John Millman.

“It was a very tight game; he was serving great especially in the first set and he won a lot on first serve,” Nishikori said. “I played solidly in the tie-break and served well on the last couple of points. It was easier in the second set, with his injury, but I was more comfortable and striking the ball better.”

Meanwhile, Murray’s compatriot Cameron Norrie cruised past Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-0, 6-3 and will play Stan Wawrinka or Karen Khachanov in the next round.

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