ATP

Andy Murray beaten in straight sets by Holger Rune in final Wimbledon tune-up

By Sports Desk June 28, 2023

Andy Murray’s final warm-up for Wimbledon ended in a straight sets defeat to world number six Holger Rune at the Hurlingham Club.

The two-time Wimbledon champion, who opted for some extra match play following his first-round exit at Queen’s Club last week, was beaten 6-4 6-4 at the Giorgio Armani Tennis Classic.

Murray moved well on court against his 20-year-old opponent but could not capitalise on his chances, notably four break points in the sixth game of a tight opening set.

A double fault from the 36-year-old gifted Rune the first break of the contest and he was ultimately unable to battle back after dropping serve in the first game of the second.

Murray had won 10 successive matches in claiming back-to-back grass-court titles in Surbiton and Nottingham before suffering an early exit at Queen’s at the hands of Alex De Minaur.

“It’s great obviously to play these sorts of matches a few days out from Wimbledon,” Murray said in his on-court interview after his defeat.

“He’s one of the top players in the world, so you get to see exactly where your game is at. There are things to work on but it keeps you very sharp.

“I would have liked to have done a little bit better but I can start from here and build on this.”

Two days before discovering his fate as an unseeded player in the Wimbledon draw, the Scot was given a serious workout on a warm afternoon in west London.

A fashion show provided the pre-match entertainment on the north bank of the river Thames and it was the energetic Rune who proved to be the more stylish on court.

Like many of the catwalk models, the Dane had his baseball cap on backwards and he exuded the confidence of a player who has recently won four ATP titles, including defeating Novak Djokovic in the 2022 Paris Masters final.

Former world number one Murray grew into the encounter and showed glimpses of his grand-slam winning best throughout with soft hands at the net, powerful groundstrokes and some delightful lobs.

However, Rune often had the edge when it mattered in an exhibition match lasting around an hour and 40 minutes.

Murray, currently ranked 39 by the ATP, was finally broken in the ninth game following one of a handful of double faults across the high-profile exhibition match.

Rune wasted little time in wrapping up the set and then swiftly backed it up with a further break en route to another impressive victory of his fledgling career which underlines his credentials as an outsider for glory at SW19 in the coming fortnight.

Related items

  • Raducanu stunned by qualifier Carle in Madrid Raducanu stunned by qualifier Carle in Madrid

    Maria Lourdes Carle made a splash at the Madrid Open on Wednesday, as the qualifier sent Emma Raducanu packing.

    World number 82 Carle stepped into the void to fill in for Karolina Pliskova, who withdrew prior to the end of the qualifying rounds, to face 2021 US Open champion Raducanu.

    It is just the second time Carle has reached the main draw of a WTA 1000 event, and she ensured it would be a memorable campaign after a 6-2 6-2 victory over Raducanu, who is now ranked at world number 221, though has enjoyed something of a return to form this season.

    Raducanu reached the quarter-finals of the Stuttgart Grand Prix last week, going down to world number one Iga Swiatek, but has recently enjoyed victories over the likes of Angelique Kerber and Caroline Garcia.

    Data Debrief

    Carle is the first player from Argentina to defeat a former women's singles grand slam Champion since Nadia Podoroska overcame Serena Williams in Rome in 2021. 

    The 24-year-old is making just her sixth WTA main draw appearance, with her first WTA 1000 appearance having come in Miami in March.

  • 'I will play Roland Garros if I feel competitive' – Nadal uncertain on French Open participation 'I will play Roland Garros if I feel competitive' – Nadal uncertain on French Open participation

    Rafael Nadal is unsure as to whether he will be fit enough to feature at the French Open.

    Nadal is embarking on a swansong season, having indicated he will retire after the 2024 campaign.

    The 37-year-old is set to make his farewell appearance at the Madrid Open this week, with his campaign starting against American teenager Darwin Blanch on Thursday.

    Nadal, now ranked 512 in the world, has played just five Tour-level matches this year, as he makes his comeback from yet another injury lay-off.

    And the 14-time Roland Garros champion acknowledged on Wednesday that he would be unlikely to play at the French Open should it be taking place this week.

    "If I was in Paris today, I wouldn't go out to play," he said.

    "I don't think I'll be able to play at 100 per cent, but it's important to be able to play for the last time in Madrid.

    "It means a lot to me to play on this court where I've had some great moments."

    Thankfully for Nadal, the French Open does not take place until late May, giving him time to get fit.

    "If I arrive in Paris the way I feel today, I will not play," he said.

    "I will play Roland Garros if I feel competitive. If I can play, I play. If I can't play, I can't. It won't be the end of the world or the end of my career. I still have goals after Roland Garros, like the Olympics.

    "Few weeks [ago], I didn't know if I would be able to play again on the professional tour. It's not perfect but at least I am playing and I can enjoy again, especially in the tournaments that are so emotional for me.

    "I'm able to enjoy the fun that I can say, probably, goodbye on court. Without trying to confuse anyone, I don't know what's going to happen in the next three weeks.

    "I'm going to do the things I have to do to be able to play in Paris. And if I can, I can and if I can't, I can't. I'm going to Paris if I feel like I'm good enough. I'm going to Paris if I feel capable enough to compete."

    Nadal played three times in Brisbane in January, losing to qualifier Jordan Thompson and subsequently missing the Australian Open.

    He featured twice in Barcelona earlier in April, losing to Alex De Minaur in the round of 32.

    Nadal has won five titles in Madrid, though, and the tournament holds a special place for him, as he underlined his determination to compete.

    He added: "Some moments I find myself enjoying being on court, playing against the best players again and I feel myself, more or less competitive, and other moments I feel limitations and it’s difficult.

    "The goal is to be on court, enjoy it as long as possible. I mean, that's the thing, enjoy the fact that I will be able to compete one more time on the professional tour and here at home in Madrid, a place that gives me everything in terms of support.

    "I am here giving myself a chance. If at some moment my situation improves, if I am able to find better feelings in my body, I need to be ready."

  • Osaka storms to victory in Madrid opener to end long wait for win on clay Osaka storms to victory in Madrid opener to end long wait for win on clay

    Naomi Osaka comprehensively dispatched Greet Minnen on Tuesday to make a winning start to her Madrid Open campaign and earn a first win on clay for two years.

    Japanese star Osaka triumphed 6-4 6-1 in only 79 minutes, swiftly booking a second-round clash against Liudmila Samsonova.

    Osaka reached the last 32 at the WTA 1000 events on the hard courts of Indian Wells and Miami but had lost to Martina Trevisan at the first hurdle in the Open de Rouen on clay at WTA 250 level last week.

    This was therefore a welcome return to form against Belgian qualifier Minnen and represented her first triumph on the surface since beating Anastasia Potapova at this tournament in 2022.

    After an even start to the contest, the first set was level at 4-4. But Osaka then assumed full control, winning eight of nine games to race to victory.

    Data Debrief: Osaka dominates on serve

    Osaka was not broken at all in the match and allowed Minnen only one break-point opportunity across the whole contest.

    She fired down eight aces to only three double faults, and won 13 of her 16 first-serve points in the second set.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.