- 01 Mar 2021
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.
Murray digs deep
🇬🇧 @andy_murray reels off straight games to score a 2-6, 7-6(2), 6-3 win over Haase.
— ATP Tour (@atptour) March 1, 2021
“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.”
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.