Andy Murray marks 1,000th tour match with victory at Queen’s, while defending champion Carlos Alcaraz cruises

Damond Isiaka
4 Min Read


CNN
 — 

In what is likely to be his final appearance at Queen’s, Andy Murray earned a hard fought first-round victory over Alexei Popyrin on his 1,000th ATP Tour appearance.

Murray again indicated this week that it’s unlikely he will continue playing tennis beyond the summer, telling the BBC that it would be “fitting” to retire after Wimbledon or the Olympics.

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If this is to be the final grass court season of his illustrious career, Murray’s 6-3 3-6 6-3 win over world No. 48 Popyrin is a promising start.

It’s Murray’s first tour-level victory since he ruptured ankle ligaments at the Miami Open in March, with the 37-year-old also recently dealing with a back injury.

When asked during his on-court interview how his body was feeling, Murray replied to laughs from the crowd: “I’ve felt better.”

“But it was enough today. I didn’t realize, but my mom told me before the match that it was my 1,000th match on tour, so a lot of matches, a lot of wear and tear on the body and it’s not easy, but I managed to push through it.

“Obviously, during the match, it’s difficult, but great reward at the end for the hard work and effort I put into the match.

“I’ve not got too many wins this year. It’s been a difficult season, but I did well to come through in the end, held quite a few tight service games and managed to serve it out well.”

Murray, a five-time champion at Queen’s, faces world No. 43 Jordan Thompson in the second round following the Australian’s upset over seventh seed Holger Rune.

Alcaraz off to a winning start

Carlos Alcaraz celebrates a point against Francisco Cerundolo during their match on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, reigning Queen’s champion Carlos Alcaraz eased to a 6-1 7-5 win over Argentina’s Francisco Cerundolo as he impressively began preparations for the defense of his Wimbledon title.

Alcaraz, who recently won his third grand slam title at the French Open, recovered well after trailing 2-5 in the second set and rattled off five straight games to earn a straight sets victory.

“The first match in any tournament is never easy but even more difficult here on grass, starting the grass season,” Alcaraz said, per the ATP. “You want to do a good result and have to deal with a lot of expectations that you put on yourself.

“I am really happy with the match and it was a good test, playing with Francisco. It was close in the second set. It is good to have tough situations. Having to deal with nerves.”

Alcaraz faces Great Britain’s Jack Draper in the next round on Thursday.

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