World No. 4 Alexander Zverev was pushed all the way by Britain’s Andy Murray at Indian Wells on Tuesday, eventually winning 6-4, 7-6, but it was Murray’s return to form that had commentators wondering if the former world No.1 had finally overcome his hip injury problems to grace tennis’ top table once more.
“It was such a high level,” Zverev said. “The way Andy attacked the ball in the second set was incredible and I’m just pleased to get through.”
Former British No.1 Greg Rudeski was full of praise for Murray, saying on Amazon Prime he thought Murray was slowly getting back to his best.
“This is by far the best match he has played since his comeback,” Rudeski said.
“His movement has been exceptional, he has managed to change his tactics and his focus and intensity have been very, very good.”
Zverev though has been on a superb run of form, and knew how to handle his opponent, coming from behind in both sets to take out the tie.
Murray lost his cool a couple of times after missed shots – the frustration showed through as he tossed his racket away.
The German kept his cool, even when a lace on his left shoe broke as he was running down a ball.
“He’s the only one of the Big Four that I hadn’t beaten yet, so I’m happy that I’ve done it today,” Zverev said.
“Obviously it was a fantastic match. I thought Andy played extremely well, maybe as well as he’s played since the surgery.
“I hope he continues playing the same way, because tennis did miss him for a long time and I think it’s good to have him back.”
Murray played good tennis, but Zverev played better, sticking to his gameplay and capitalising on Murray’s errors – that were to eventually cost him the match.
At 6-5 in the second set Zverev failed to serve out the match but kept cool and took advance of a sloppy Murray return to start the tiebreak and from there the German never looked back.