Tsitsipas and Murray set up Stuttgart tennis showdown, Kyrgios also reaches quarter-finals

Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas will face former world number one Andy Murray. EPA-EFE/FACUNDO ARRIZABALAGA EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO COMMERCIAL SALES

By Ricky Dimon

The BOSS Open draw may not be of Grand Slam caliber, which is understandable since it is only an ATP 250 tournament. But at the same time, it is likely to keep a many of its star players for the duration, unlike Roland-Garros.

The two seeds Stefanos Tsitsipas and Matteo Berrettini advanced to the quarter-finals, joined by Andy Murray and Nick Kyrgios. Although Tsitsipas, Murray and Kyrgios are all in the top half, a quarter-final clash between Berrettini and Lorenzo Sonego at the bottom of the range makes for an intriguing game on Friday.

Berrettini and Sonego advanced on Wednesday, while Tsitsipas, Murray and Kyrgios clinched their last-eight tickets on Thursday. After a bye, Tsitsipas made a quick 6-3, 6-4 job of Swiss qualifier Dominic Stricker.

“I could work a bit on the first serve percentage, which could be higher,” admitted the fifth-placed Greek, who hadn’t won a match on grass since 2019. “Otherwise I was very involved in my footwork – being very active on the first serve, pushing my opponent away. It was a good game.”

Britain’s Andy Murray in action. EPA-EFE/VICKIE FLORES

Next up for Tsitsipas is Murray, who beat Alexander Bublik 6-3, 7-6(4). A rollercoaster second set saw the 35-year-old Scotsman come back from a break, fall behind 5-2, recover to force a tiebreaker and then take the win by taking the breaker seven to four.

“He’s predictable in his unpredictability,” Murray said of Bublik during his on-court interview. “You’re ready for some amazing shots and then maybe some loose plays. Today he played some amazing stuff for five or six games in the second set and everything was flowing and I was a little frustrated but I kept fighting. I held a tough game at 2-5 and I think I played well until the end.

Kyrgios needed three sets to advance, beating Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-3. The 27-year-old Aussie fired 20 aces against a single double fault and he wasn’t broken once.

“He’s a hell of a player,” Kyrgios said. “He’s world No. 25 for a reason and he’s beaten some great opponents so I knew he was dangerous. When he gets into his rhythm it’s hard to get out of it. I’m just very happy with the how I competed.

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also runs its own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on Twitter at @Dimonator.

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