April 13, 2024

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China’s Zhang Earns Maiden Masters 1000 Win, Murray Falls in Madrid

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China's Zhang Earns Maiden Masters 1000 Win, Murray Falls in Madrid

Zhang Zhizhen, a Chinese superstar, defeated Austrian qualifier Jurij Rodionov 7-6(6), 6-4 on Thursday at the Mutua Madrid Open to win his first ATP Masters 1000 match.

The 26-year-old, who is playing in Madrid for the first time, came back from being down a break in the first set and saved one set point at 5/6 in the first-set tie-break to win. After one hour and 33 minutes, he won 12 points in the second set and made the crucial break in the fifth game to win the match.

Zhang has risen four positions to No. 1 with his first tour-level victory of the year. 95 in the Rankings on Pepperstone for ATP. Prior to reaching a career-high No. 1 last year, he was the first Chinese man to break into the top 100. 91 in Zhang’s opponent in the second round will be Denis Shapovalov of Canada.

In other news, Andy Murray, a two-time champion in Madrid, was defeated by Italian qualifier Andrea Vavassori 6-2, 7-6(7), giving him the biggest victory of his career.

Throughout the hour-and-33-minute match, Vavassaori served and volleyed, winning 76% (13/17) of the net points. Despite blowing a break advantage in the second set, the 27-year-old kept his composure in the tie-break to win his first ATP Masters 1000 match on his fifth match point.

“It is a dream come true,” Vavassori said. “to compete in a competition like this on a court like this against someone who is truly a champion. I have followed him throughout his entire career. Everybody on the Tour looks up to him. I believe that up until the second set’s second half, I had played the best tennis of my life. Nerves then set in, but at the finish there was only joy.”

The 27-year-old has advanced 23 spots to the No. 141 in the , who is currently ranked No. 1 in the world, in the following match. 3 Prior to his victory over World No. 1, Daniil Medvedev, Vavassori’s biggest victory was against No. 52 Murray faced off with the world’s no. 59 In Marrakech, Nicolas Jarry.

Jan-Lennard Struff of Germany defeated Lorenzo Sonego 6-3, 6-1 to win on clay for the fourth time this season among the Top 50 players. The World No. 65 will next face American #NextGenATP Ben Shelton after reaching the quarterfinals in Monte Carlo earlier this month.

Yosuke Watanuki, a Japanese qualifier, beat Corentin Moutet 6-3, 6-3, and Cristian Garin defeated Marc-Andrea Huesler 7-6(5), 6-2. Both Marcos Giron and Pedro Cachin advanced past Nuno Borges, the Jordan wild card Abdullah Shelbayh, 6-1, 6-4.

Reference: www.atptour.com

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