In the main event in the men’s draw Friday at Beijing, Dominic Thiem ended Andy Murray hopes with a strong 6-2, 7-6(3) in just under two hours.
Murray hadn’t beaten Thiem since 2015 Miami, and early on it didn’t look good as the Austrian broke twice to run away with the opening set.
Serving for the match, though, Thiem fell apart tossing in three doubles faults at 5-4. But the 26-year-old finished off the former No. 1 in the breaker.
“I think there were some really good points in the match, like at the beginning of the match some really good points, also at the end,” said Murray. “I was a little bit unsure kind of how to go about the match at the beginning… I was feeling a little bit tired this morning. We talked about maybe, ‘If you are feeling that way, try to finish off some of the points’.
“I wasn’t that happy with the way I went about the match after the first game. I went a bit off track there at first, in terms of how I was playing. The week overall was good.”
Despite the loss, Murray is pleased with how things are going in his comeback.
“I think this was maybe the best in terms of how I played since I came back. It was great for me. I played three matches in four days, which is quite a lot,” said Murray. “Actually, I felt better than I expected today, as well… It was just another step for me. I wasn’t expecting to go from here to my highest level or winning tournaments straight away. Everything has kind of been a pretty gradual progress for me. This week was another step in the right direction.”
Thiem now takes on Karen Khachanov who was a 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 winner over Fabio Fognini. If Thiem wins, he’ll clinch a berth in the ATP Finals in London next month.
Big Americans John Isner and Sam Querrey both had tough days. Isner was ushered out by Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6(3), 6-3 while Alexander Zverev outclasses Querrey 7-6(3), 6-2.
Zverev will now get Tsitsipas in the semifinals.
“I am very happy to be in the semifinals,” said Zverev. “I am very happy with the way I am playing and tomorrow is going to be a very interesting match against Stefanos. A lot of spectators are looking forward to that and I am as well.
“He is my Laver Cup team mate. We got a little bit closer at the Laver Cup as well. We understand each other very well now, so I hope it is going to be a fantastic match.”
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