Andy Murray has returned to action in style, defeating Alejandro Davidovich Fokina in straight sets 7-5, 6-2 in the Gijon Open round of 32. The Scot played out one of his most impressive performances of the 2022 campaign to set up a round of 16 clash against either Pedro Cachin or Alexey Vatutin.
Murray would have known he was in for a tough afternoon, with the Gijon crowd strongly behind their countryman Davidovich Fokina as the 23-year-old was met with a huge roar as he entered the court. The Brit was no doubt out to stifle the roaring Spanish atmosphere, but he only added fuel to the fire after his serve was broken in the very first game of the match to give Davidovich Fokina an early advantage.
After a tricky start Murray was no doubt out to claw himself back into the set, and came agonisngly close to doing so in games five and seven but surrended break point on both occassions. One game later though he was finally able to rectify his game one mistake by eventually breaking back to level things up at 4-4, to put him back in the ascendency.
Murray and the Spaniard then matched each other game-for-game to leave the Scot 6-5 ahead, before the Scot broke once more to take the all-important opening set 7-5. The three-time Grand Slam champion was back in action after deciding to skip the Astana Open last week after feeling an element of fatigue at the recent Laver Cup, where he teamed up with fellow greats Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer for the latter’s emotional career swansong.
Following his break there seemed to be no signs of fatigue in Gijon, as he continued from where he left off in the opener to take an early 3-0 advantage in set two. Davidovich Fokina looked to claw himself back a game later by finally getting back on the board in the second at 3-1, but Murray was in no mood to let him back into the clash.