The likes of Alexander Zverev and three-time Grand Slam winner Andy Murray have surely added charm to the Cologne Open 2020. It’s first tournament, Bett1Hulks Indoors, kicked off on 10th October 2020. Today, in the first round or Round of 32, Andy Murray was up against Fernando Verdasco. The Spaniard completely dominated the game and thrashed the British player in straight sets, winning 6-4, 6-4. It was his first win over Murray on an indoor court.
It was not easy for Murray mentally. He was coming here after getting eliminated by Stan Wawrinka in the very first round of the French Open 2020. The same thing was visible in the match as well. He didn’t look in his form at all. It was more like ‘Murray lost the match’ instead of ‘Verdasco won it’.
Set-1: Andy Murray fought hard but Fernando Verdasco was simply better
Serving first, Murray won the first point of the match. He was looking patient, cool, and composed; but Verdasco won a breakpoint opportunity. Murray survived it and it leveled proceedings at deuce. He soon secured the advantage and won the first game of the match.
Crowd clap as announcer says “Murray’s best ranking, nr 1!” Then “Sir Andy Murray!!” Crowd go crazy in Köln. pic.twitter.com/mi1vJyTOuz
— Del🇪🇺 (@Stroppa_Del) October 13, 2020
The next game saw Murray earn three breakpoints. Verdasco survived them all and won the game after the second deuce. It was 1-1 at this moment. The Spanish player broke in the next game and was now leading 2-1. Murray was struggling. He had no answers for Verdasco’s powerful forehand winners and was making too many unforced errors. Verdasco continued his good gameplay and won the next game to lead 3-1.
After conceding the first point in the fifth game, Verdasco won four consecutive points. The 36-year-old broke again and widened the margin at 4-1. Murray looked a little dull and could not cover the court; thereby handing his opponent easy points.
— ATP Tour (@atptour) October 13, 2020
It was now or never for Murray. He fought back in the sixth game. This time he capitalized on the very first breaking point and broke for the very first time in the match to narrow the margin to 4-2. The next game displayed vintage Murray. He not only saved three break points but also came back after being 0-40 down with the help of a beautiful drop shot. As a result, he trained Verdasco by a single game.
But Verdasco showed his form and extended his lead to 5-3 courtesy a few powerful serves. It was becoming tough for Murray, who had to do something different. Serving to stay in the set, he lost the initial point; but, with the help of an amazing backhand winner, he made Verdasco serve it out.
— tennis gifs 🎾🎥 (@tennis_gifs) October 13, 2020
Murray’s happiness was short-lived. The tenth game witnessed four deuces. The Scot survived 2 set-points and even won a break-point but could not capitalize. In the end, Verdasco won the 52-minute set 6-4.
Andy Murray loses the first set to Fernando Verdasco 6-4 in Cologne, live on Tennis TV and free at https://t.co/9Vwc5jif6X pic.twitter.com/eYuk4tm5gm
— Tennis on telly 🎾📺🇬🇧 (@tennisontelly) October 13, 2020
Set-2: The same story continues for Murray
To survive in the tournament, Murray had to win this game. Serving first in the second set, he won the first point and didn’t take long to win the first game. Verdasco took no time in leveling proceedings. He secured the game with a beautiful drop shot.
— tennis gifs 🎾🎥 (@tennis_gifs) October 13, 2020
The Spanish player won four consecutive points to break serve and extend his lead to 2-1. The match was slipping from Murray. He was repeating the same mistakes again and again. He soon regained momentum and broke in the next game to equalize the scoreline at 2-2. Murray delivered some accurate serves in the subsequent games and lead 3-2.
Verdasco showed yet again that he was no beginner. He took revenge and delivered some unplayable services in the sixth game to tie the set at 3-3. He broke for the second time in the set and extended his lead to 4-3. The 36-year-old was just two games away from beating the three time-Grand Slam champion.
The Spaniard claimed four points in a row to move to within a game of victory. Serving to stay in the match, Andy Murray didn’t really do anything special. His shots were insufficient in breaking Verdasco’s defense. He somehow survived a match-point and won the game to trail 5-4.
Serving for the match, Verdasco looked both ruthless and ambitious. He started off by easily winning the first point. But Murray was not ready to give and earned three break-points. Verdasco saved them all and later won two match-points but could not capitalize on either. Murray won another break-point, his fourth in this game, but lost it. Verdasco finally won the set 6-4 on his fourth match-point after a five deuce game. He eventually won the match, 6-4, 6-4 to earn a match against Alexander Zverev.