Doha 2017: Day-2. Murray’s 25th Win

Andy Murray has now won 25 consecutive matches, dating back to his win over Guido Pella on day-3 of Great Britain’s Davis Cup Semifinal loss to Argentina in September. He’d pick-up 5 titles in that time, including the ATP Finals where he clinched the year-end World #1 ranking. To put this in perspective, however – Novak Djokovic owns a 43 match win streak from 2010-2011. Martina Navratilova owns the ultimate match win streak, earning 74 consecutive wins during the 1984 season. Unreal.

While Murray took-out Jeremy Chardy in his Doha opener, Center Court also saw Karen Khachanov, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Tomas Berdych advance…

Andy Murray. Two time Doha Champion. Onto the Round of 16. (Getty Images)

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. 2012 Doha Champion. Onto the Round of 16. (Getty Images)

K. Khachanov (RUS) d [WC] M. Zayid (QAT) 61 63

Day-2’s first Round-1 match saw 21-year-old local Wild Card Mubarek Shannan Zayid face 20-year-old ATP NEXGEN star Karen Khachanov from Russia. Younes El Aynaoui, Karim Alami and Nassar Bin Ghanim Al Khelaifi were all in attendence to cheer-on Qatar’s top-ranked player. Mubarek showed promise with solid foot work and some punishing serves, but he lacked the consistency needed to hold pace with the big Russian. At 6’6″, Khachanov has a looming presence, a cracking serve and impressive court coverage with a huge wing-span. He won his first tour-level event last Fall in Chengdu and is knocking on the door of the ATP World Tour’s top-50. Week-one last year, he was eliminated from Chennai in the First Round. This year, he’s on to the Round of 16 in Doha. NEXT: Ivo Karlovic
 

[5] J. Tsonga (FRA) d A. Kuznetsov (RUS) 61 46 62

2012 Doha Champ Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is typically a slow-starter. That wasn’t the case Tuesday, as he took set-1 on Russia’s Andrey Kuznetsov in just 23-minutes. The Frenchman was agressive, came to the net often, and played like the long off-season left him itching for competition. Andrey found his rhythm in the second, scoring the set’s only break to level the match…pretty impressive, considering he was down 0-30 with Tsonga serving new balls. In the third, Jo-Wilfried broke at 2-all and sealed the victory winning five consecutive games. NEXT: Dustin Brown
 

[1] A. Murray (GBR) d J. Chardy (FRA) 60 76(2)

Andy Murray enjoyed a strong start Tuesday as well, winning the first-set 6-0 over Jeremy Chardy in 20-minutes. The two traded breaks to start the second, then counter-punched to the tie-break. After a dismal start, Chardy battled in set-2, fighting for every hold. Then, down 4-5, serving to stay in the match, Jeremy’s serve finally came to life and both easily held to 6-all. In the tie-break, Murray struck first to go up 4-2…and never looked back. It’s Andy’s 25th consecutive win since falling to Juan Marin Del Potro in Great Britain’s Semifinal Davis Cup loss to Argentina back in September. Since then, he’s won five titles including the ATP Finals, where he clinched the year-end World #1 ranking with his defeat of Novak Djokovic. He now owns 44 career Tour Level titles; 45 if you include the “Sir” that’s been added to his name. NEXT: Gerald Melzer
 

[3] T. Berdych (CZE) d [Q] A. Giannessi (ITA) 76(1) 62

He won the doubles title here in 2014. He reached the 2015 singles Final without being broken once. Tomas Berdych is comfortable on court in Qatar, but when he learned that his Round-1 opponent was a qualifier, some uncertainty settled in. Giannessi drew Berdych after clearing qualifying, then Tomas and coach Goran Ivanisevic got to work. Having never played the Italian, they YouTube’d Alessandro’s Round-2 US Open loss to Stan Wawrinka and scored the scouting they’d need. Giannessi kept pace with Berdych, holding through a first-set tie-break, but the pressure of the moment proved too intense. Alessandro tightened-up in the tie-break, then faded in the second. Tomas is through with his “new-look” serve, and is thankful to start the season healthy with a strong, competitive win under his belt…after a 2016 that saw him sidelined for a month with appendicitis.