LONDON – Top-seeded Matteo Berrettini overpowered Andy Murray with his booming serve in a 6-3, 6-3 victory at The Queen’s Club grass-court tournament on Thursday to move into the quarterfinals.
The Italian had 14 aces in the 85-minute match, saved all three break points he faced, and had just seven unforced errors. He held Murray to just one winner and twice broke serve in the first set. He won the first three games of the second to take command.
“This was really hard. We all know who Andy is, he is a great player and he was always there, even until the last point,” Berrettini said. “I know how tough it is to come back from an injury, so I wish him the best of luck. I am just happy that he is back.”
The 34-year-old Murray, who’s been nursing a groin injury, beat France’s Benoit Paire in straight sets on Tuesday in his first singles match in three months. He missed a chance to face British No. 1 Dan Evans in the quarterfinals.
A five-time champion of this event, Murray was a wild-card entry. He also will play at Wimbledon in less than two weeks as a wild card.
“I just didn’t play that well,” Murray said. “You need to be right on it and I wasn’t today. I wasn't playing at the highest level.
“I'm not happy losing,” added Murray, who said he hasn't been able to pinpoint exactly what the injury is. “I want to be doing better than that, for sure. My desire is to improve and work on things on the back of matches. It's still there. Let's see what happens if I get the opportunity to play more matches. Trust me, it's not easy. The guy's serving 140 miles an hour. It's difficult to prepare for that.”
Evans reached the round of eight with a 6-4, 7-6 (7) win against France’s Adrian Mannarino. His victory ensured that three Britons will be in the quarterfinals of an ATP Tour event for the first time since 1996. Cam Norrie will face wild-card Jack Draper in an all-British matchup.
In other matches Thursday, second-seeded Denis Shapovalov of Canada beat Spain’s Feliciano Lopez 6-2, 6-3, and American Frances Tiafoe defeated qualifier Viktor Troicki of Serbia 6-3, 7-6 (3).
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