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Tennis: Murray downs Popyrin at Queen’s in 1,000th ATP match

Andy Murray tennis news

Former world No.1 Andy Murray played his 1,000th ATP match on Tuesday night, defeating Australia’s Alexei Popyrin to keep his hopes of a sixth Queen’s title alive.

The Brit is far from the player he once was, but with retirement looming after the Olympics this year, he seems determined to go out with a bang.

Online bookies had Murray slated as a +100 underdog to beat Popyrin. However, that didn’t prevent him from playing his best tennis in months to thrill the local crowd in London, prevailing 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

“I didn’t realise, but my mum told me before the match that this was my 1,000th match on the tour,” the 37-year-old said on-court after his victory.

“A lot of matches and a lot of wear and tear in the body and it is not easy but I managed to push through.”

Murray becomes the fifth active ATP player to compete in 1,000 matches on tour, alongside Novak Djokovic (1,324), Rafael Nadal (1,300), Fernando Verdasco (1,006) and Richard Gasquet (1,004).

Can Murray go all the way at Queen’s?

Murray last stood atop the tennis world rankings back in 2017, having claimed his third Grand Slam title and second gold medal the year before. Since then, multiple injuries have waylaid his success on the ATP Tour.

Having announced that he’ll more than likely retire after the Olympics in August, one final ATP title at Queen’s would be the cherry on top of the Scot’s career.

But is it realistic? Tennis betting sites put him as a heavy underdog to do so.

Despite the fact he’s prevailed at Queen’s five times, Murray is paying a hefty +2000 to do so a sixth time. This puts him 10th in the queue, ahead of just six others remaining in the field.

Next up, Murray will face another Aussie in his pursuit of the Queen’s title. World No.43 Jordan Thompson stands in his way, having upset No.7 seed Holger Rune in his opening match.

Murray is a slight underdog at +110 against Thompson, who is a -136.99 favourite with tennis bookmakers.

De Minaur crashes out of Queen’s in first round

Speaking of Australians in London, Alex de Minaur was unable to back up his title run at the Libema Open last week.

The world No.7 crashed out of the Queen’s tournament in the opening round, losing to Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti 1-6, 6-4, 6-2.

It was a bright start by de Minaur as he took the first set for the loss of one game.

However, the second seed’s forehand went missing across the next two sets, gifting Musetti an uncharacteristic number of points through unforced errors.

The loss did little to impact de Minaur’s Wimbledon odds. The 25-year-old still sits at +2000 to win the year’s third Grand Slam, level with Matteo Berrettini, Grigor Dimitrov and Hubert Hurkacz.

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