Andy Murray won a battle of Wimbledon champions Wednesday at the Infosys Hall of Fame Open in Newport. The two-time singles titlist at SW19 worked hard to find a way past the slice-and-dice game of Max Purcell, who won the Wimbledon doubles title on Saturday alongside Matthew Ebden.
In a 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 victory, Murray needed time to find a way through the unorthodox Purcell, who sliced nearly all of his ground strokes in the two-hour, 23-minute match. The Australian’s tactics frustrated his opponent early on the grass court, but after falling behind 1-5 in the opening set, Murray found a way to attack the lack of pace as the match wore on.
“He has a very different game style to a lot of the players on Tour nowadays,” Murray said post-match. “He was using a lot of slice off of both sides, which is very rare. It took some time to get used to that way of playing.
“Then once I started to find my rhythm a little bit in the middle of the second set I was able to dictate points and push him around the court a little bit more, whereas in the first set I certainly wasn’t doing that.”
Playing in Newport for the first time since 2006, Murray moved to the brink of victory with a battling hold to make it 4-1 in the third set. He let out a roar when a big serve saved a break point, then celebrated again when an ace sealed the hold — one of his eight in the contest.
Despite the scoreline in the final two sets, Murray was made to work for each game as both players were tested physically in hot conditions. The Briton finished with seven breaks on 15 chances, while saving seven of the 11 break points against him.
The second-seeded Murray advances to face Alexander Bublik in the third round, after the third seed defeated Jack Sock 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 earlier on Wednesday.
Fourth seed Maxime Cressy also advanced courtesy of a 6-3, 6-4 win in an all-American matchup against Mitchell Krueger. He will next face Steve Johnson, who advanced past seventh seed Jiri Vesely via walkover.