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Andy Murray is through to the quarter-finals of the Stuttgart Open after a 6-3 7-6 win over Alexander Bublik. As the former World No 1 continued to step up his Wimbledon preparations, Murray built on his opening win over the Australian qualifier Christopher O’Connell by taking out the seventh seed Bublik. Murray looked strong on his serve throughout the first set, winning 15 of 17 first-serve points as he claimed the opener.

After Murray went a break up in the second, Bublik recovered from an erratic start to lead 5-2 and forced Murray to save set points, with two consecutive aces sealing the hold after a lengthy service game. From there, Murray immediately broke Bublik and forced the tiebreak, where he played some of his best tennis of the second set to edge the World No 44 7-5 in the decider.

“I felt I played well towards the finish,” Murray said afterwards. “I feel good, I moved well on the court and hopefully I can play better tennis towards the weekend.” Murray is likely to face the tournament’s top seed and World No 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas next, in what is set to be the pair’s first meeting since their five-set epic at the US Open last season.

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Stuttgart Open: Murray 6-3, 7-6 Bublik

Ah, some reaction from Murray: “He [Bublik] is predictable in his unpredictability. I felt I played well towards the finish. I feel good, I moved well on the court and hopefully I can play better tennis towards the weekend.”

Tsitsipas could be next – for the first time since their fallout at last season’s US Open!

Jamie Braidwood9 June 2022 14:42

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Stuttgart Open: Murray 6-3, 7-6 Bublik

The live stream from Stuttgart cut out just as Murray won match point so I’m not sure if there was any on-court reaction from the World No 1.

But that was an excellent win, especially after finding himself facing set points at 2-5 down in the second set. Bublik was all over the place in the first set but had found his game by that point, forcing Murray to step it up again.

Murray’s first serve is shaping up to be his biggest weapon heading into Wimbledon and the combination of his forehand into the corners was working very nicely there. Murray’s movement around the court was looking pretty sharp, too!

Jamie Braidwood9 June 2022 14:40

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Stuttgart Open: Murray 6-3, 7-6 Bublik – Game, set and match!

“Let’s go,” says Murray as a backhand slice from Bublik goes long, before Murray produces an excellent backhand winner from the back of the court to move 2-1 up on serve in the tiebreak.

Bublik quickly wins the next two points on serve, the second an ace down the middle that Murray seemed frustrated he didn’t reach. 3-2 Bublik.

Bublik then had Murray scrambling back but the 35-year-old was able to return on the backhand as bublike nets. A big serve out wide from Murray is followed by a forehand to the corner. Still on serve at 4-3 Murray.

Bublik blinks! He pushes a forehand wide from the middle of the baseline. He follows that up with a forehand winner to get back to 5-5. But Murray has two points on serve to close this out.

Big hitting from both players but Murray changes it up with a backhand slice to the corner. Bublik gets wrapped up as he tries to run around it for a forehand but nets!

Match point Murray – and there’s the big serve out wide that has worked so well all match! Bublik can only get a racket to it and Murray wins 6-3 7-6!

Jamie Braidwood9 June 2022 14:29

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Stuttgart Open: Murray 6-3, 6-6 Bublik

Murray opens the angle on his backhand and then puts away the smash as Bublik stretched. Two big serves from Murray puts him in a commanding position as he gets to 40-0. Bublik drops a return on his second serve but Murray read it to steer a forehand into the corner.

Tiebreak time.

Jamie Braidwood9 June 2022 14:26

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Stuttgart Open: *Murray 6-3, 5-6 Bublik

Bublik produces a brilliant backhand pass after Murray followed up a sliced volley at the net. Two strong serves later from Bublik and he seals the hold with a smashed winner into the corner.

Murray will look to force the tiebreak.

Jamie Braidwood9 June 2022 14:22

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Stuttgart Open: Murray 6-3, 5-5 Bublik*

Two big serves from Murray out wide – the first followed up with a forehand winner into the corner – gets the 35-year-old to 30-15. Bublik responds with good depth on the backhand side, as Murray goes wide.

Murray then brings Bublik in with the drop shot but pushes the backhand pass long. Break point Bublik, but Murray wins the duel at the baseline as Bublik skews a backhand slice into the bottom of the next.

It happens again on the next point, as Bublik’s slice lets him down again following a long rally. Advantage Murray, and he gets back on level terms with a forehand winner off a first serve.

Jamie Braidwood9 June 2022 14:19

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Stuttgart Open: *Murray 6-3, 4-5 Bublik – Murray breaks!

Brilliant defence from Murray! Bublik sent him scrambling around the court but Murray showed great movement to return each question, before Bublik went wide on the forehand. At 0-30, Bublik’s struggles with double faults resurface.

Three break points now and as Murray hangs in on another point a further error from Bublik gets him the break to love! Murray survives in this second set!

Jamie Braidwood9 June 2022 14:13

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Stuttgart Open: Murray 6-3, 3-5 Bublik*

Murray starts, though, with two aces in a row but then finds the net after Bublik went for the drop shot. Murray then nets on smash but after Bublik goes wide with the forehand it gets him to game point. Bublik goes back to the drop shot, angled and close to the net, and Murray is unable to flick the return over.

Bublik, sensing the chance to finish this set now, reads the Murray smash but the Scot is able to pick up the passing shot and flick it over the net.

Bublik goes on the attack again though and despite spirited defence from Murray he is able to put away the volley to set up set point on the Murray serve.

Murray saves it as Bublik misfires on a second serve out wide before Murray fires an ace out wide on the opposite side.

Bublik, though, does not give up on the game as he jumps around a backhand and smacks a second-serve return past Murray for a clean winner.

Murray then nets, another set point now – but he hangs on with a smash at the net into the corner after pinning Bublik behind the baseline.

Bublik’s drop shot drifts into mid-court as Murray puts away the winner – but Murray still can’t get a hold as Bublik barrages him back with a strong of forehands.

But there it is – two consecutive aces from Murray seals the hold, at last, and Bublik will now need to serve this out.

Jamie Braidwood9 June 2022 14:10

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Stuttgart Open: *Murray 6-3, 2-5 Bublik

Bublik races to 40-0 before dropping in another double fault, and then another! However, he brushes it off with an ace out wide to consolidate the break.

Murray will have new balls as he tries to stay in this second set.

Murray’s first serve points won has dropped from 88 to 38 per cent in this second set.

Jamie Braidwood9 June 2022 13:58

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Stuttgart Open: Murray 6-3, 2-4 Bublik* – Bublik breaks

Bublik steps in to hit a forehand winner past Murray on the opening point of the Scot’s service game – it certainly looks as if Bublik has been revived over the past 10 minutes.

A backhand from Murray drifts long and now it’s 0-30, but after Bublik hangs a ball up high Murray thunders the forehand winner into the corner.

Bublik has found his range on those drop shots and pulls one off to perfection on the backhand side, with the backspin beating Murray to the double bounce.

Two break points – Murray saves the first with an inside out forehand winner down the line, and that’s excellent from Murray as he finds the line and then slams a smash past Bublik! “Come on!” he yells.

Deuce – but after Murray drops Bublik reaches the shot and returns a smash straight into Murray’s feet. And there’s the break – Murray can’t believe it. This match has taken a turn.

Jamie Braidwood9 June 2022 13:55