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Murray secures hard-fought landmark win
Andy Murray celebrates after winning against Poland's Hubert Hurkacz (not in picture) during the men's singles match at the Erste Bank Open. -- AFP
Andy Murray celebrates after winning against Poland's Hubert Hurkacz (not in picture) during the men's singles match at the Erste Bank Open. -- AFP

Vienna: Andy Murray secured his first win over a top 10 player in 14 months on Monday after the former world number one beat Hubert Hurkacz 6-4 6-7(6) 6-3 at the Vienna Open.


Murray had lost to the world number 10 in Cincinnati and Metz earlier this year but got the better of the Pole at the third attempt, emerging with the first-round victory after a gruelling contest lasting two hours and 41 minutes.


It was the 34-year-old's first top 10 win since the three-time Grand Slam champion beat Alexander Zverev in Cincinnati in August 2020.


"It was a good match that could have gone either way," said Murray, who had hip surgeries in 2018 and 2019 and is currently ranked 156th.


"I was disappointed to drop serve in the opening game of the third, but thankfully I was able to get the break back in the next game and from there I probably deserved to get over the line. It was a good win in tough circumstances."


Murray will face 18-year-old Carlos Alcaraz of Spain in the second round.


BERRETTINI SEALS ATP FINALS SPOT


Matteo Berrettini has become the sixth player to qualify for the season-ending ATP Finals in Turin next month after the Italian reached the second round of the Vienna Open on Monday, the ATP said.


The 25-year-old, who will make his second appearance at the ATP Finals, defeated Australia's Alexei Popyrin 7-6(3) 6-3 in the opening round.


The ATP Finals is played between the top eight men's singles players and doubles teams and will be held from Nov. 14-21.


"My words aren't going to describe the happiness I feel in my heart," said the world number seven. "2020 was a tough year for me on and off the court. Here I am about to play my second (ATP) Finals and I can't believe it.


"I always have to remember where I started. I didn't dream about this, because it was so big, but now it's happening. I want to do my best."


Berrettini joins world number one Novak Djokovic, U.S. Open champion Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev and Andrey Rublev in sealing spots for the ATP Finals, with Casper Ruud and Hubert Hurkacz next in line to qualify.


Rafa Nadal is eighth in the standings but the 20-time major winner has already ended his season due to injury.


Berrettini's compatriot Jannik Sinner is also in contention https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/sports/sinner-boosts-atp-finals-chance-with-antwerp-title-2021-10-25, with the 20-year-old 10th on the leaderboard after winning in Antwerp. (Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford )


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