Ruud, Fritz Wednesday Winners In Basel, Murray Falls In Three

by Staff | October 25th, 2023, 9:21 pm
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Casper Ruud and Taylor Fritz resumed their bids to reach the ATP Finals Wednesday in Basel as both advanced in their openers of the 500 level event.

Ruud eased Alexander Bublik 7-6(7-5), 6-2. Bublik , who just came off a big title Sunday in Antwerp, finished with 14 aces to 12 double faults as Ruud improves to 6-1 against the Kazakh.

Fritz held off Max Purcell of Australia 7-6(9-7), 7-6(7-4). The American saved two set points in the first set breaker and, after failing to serve it out at 5-4, finished the job in the second breaker.

“I was lucky to win the first set. I played some really big points really well in important moments in the tiebreak,” Fritz said. “I came up pretty clutch in the first set to take it. The second set I was serving well, I was returning better, and I just kind of got in my own way and made it pretty complicated. But I was lucky to refocus and play a good tiebreak.”

Fritz is 9th in the Race, Ruud 11th with Hubert Hurkacz 10th.

“As far as where I’m at in the Race, I think I’m in a good spot,” Fritz said to the ATP. “I have a pretty decent chance if I can come up with a big result one of these next two weeks.”

Also on the day, No. 6 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime handled home Swiss Leandro Riedin 6-3, 6-2 in his title defense opener. No. 4 seed Hurkacz moved past Jan-Lennard Struff 6-1, 6-4. Argentina’s Tomas Martin Etcheverry sent out Andy Murray 6-7(5-7), 6-3, 6-2 and Ugo Humbert advanced past the United States’s Marcos Giron 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(7-3).

Murray has now lost four of his last five matches.

Tomorrow’s ticket boasts second round play highlighted by No. 1 Holger Rune returning to battle Sebastian Baez. The two have split two contests on tour. Baez won their most recent collision in the first round at 2022 Buenos Aires.

Also, Ruud clashes with Dominic Stricker,in a first-time tour-level collision. Fritz faces Alexander Shevchenko, No. 5 Alex De Minaur will challenge Tallon Griekspoor, No. 6 Felix Auger-Aliassime takes on Botic Van De Zandschulp and also No. 7 Nicolas Jarry tests Humbert.

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