No country has played host to more ATP Tournaments than the USA and for good reason too. The tournaments there are so well organized and almost always produce quality tennis The next stop after Toronto is Cincinnatti, Ohio for the Western and Southern Open. Two of the old timers in the game Britain’s Andy Murray clashed with Frenchmen Richard Gasquet in the first round on Monday. Andy showed he still has a little in the tank with a masterful display in winning in straight sets. Richard is a spritely tennis player who moves awfully quick across the court. His signature weapon is his backhand, watch the perfect execution on it at 1-1(15-0). Opening up the face of the racquet early was key there. Drop shots on the hard court always have that element of risk to them owing to the fact that the ball tends to bounce higher giving an opportunity to the opponent to make the return. Watch 2-1(adv Murray). Richard was facing a break point here, watch him measure the ball before playing the slice shot, he needed to be spot on and he was. Andy did finally break at 3-2. Andy is known as that guy that chases almost every point and he didn’t disappoint here. Check out how he got the forehand in even though the forehand shot by Gasquet looked to be good enough to at least get an error out of Andy. Murray deservedly a set up 6-4.
If you thought Richard’s drop shot I mentioned in the first set was awesome, get a load of this one by Murray at 1-1(30-30). Well disguised with again an element of risk to it, Richard wasn’t well behind his baseline as the Richard drop shot in the first set. Yes if you are a young tennis player wanting to break into this game, you got to take RISKS even when you are ahead in a match. This match was a close one even though the final score board doesn’t reflect it. Only 3 breaks of serve between the two players. Andy was the better server, giving us 14 Aces to Richard’s 3. In a tennis match the one who wins almost always has a great first serve percentage. Not in this one Richard had the better getting 65% in the first time, probably playing it safe with his serve not wanting to double fault. The drop shot clinic continuing at 4-3(30-15). In the end Murray, a former winner here in Cincinnati, won it at 5-4(adv on deuce), benefitting from an uncharacteristic wayward backhand from the Frenchman. Could there be one more title from the Brit under his sleeve?