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The Davis Cup favourites, Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev, representing the Russian Tennis Federation rather than their country as it is banned from international competition for state doping violations, cruised into the final at the Caja Magica in Madrid, after...

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Croatia knock Serbia out

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The RFT slip into the DC semis

Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev as expected, led the Russian Tennis Federation – Russia itself has been banned from international competition for state doping – to the semi-finals of this year’s reformatted Davis Cup brushing Sweden aside 2-0.

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Alcaraz outpowers Murray in Vienna

Disappointment for Andy Murray as the teenage Spanish prodigy, Carlos Alcaraz, prevailed in the second round of the Erste Bank Open in Vienna thereby avenging his earlier defeat at the hands of the Brit in Indian Wells.

I was up a break in the second set and I was not ruthless enough in terms of going for the second break. I need to be more ruthless. Andy Murray

Two weeks ago, Murray beat the 18-year-old from Murcia in three hard fought sets out in Californian sun but on the indoor Centre Court of the Wiener Stadhalle in the Austrian capital, it was Alcaraz who emerged the victor after another classic hard-hitting and lung busting match 6-3 6-4.

The youngster was fearless. He stepped on the court and immediately went for his shots to outpower the three-time former grand slam champion, controlling the rallies from the baseline and taking advantage of Murray’s weak second serve.

Alcaraz broke Murray in the opening game which lasted 7-minutes and then lost his advantage in the fourth as the former world number one, currently ranked 152, worked his way back into the match by converting his sixth break point.

However, Alcaraz’s firepower and his consistency proved too much for Murray as two hard-fought breaks followed allowing the teenager to steal the exhausting opening set after 65-minutes. Most games in that set had lasted nearly 10-miutes!

For a brief moment it looked as if the effort of winning the first set had taken a bigger toll of Alcaraz as Murray went a break up early in the second set and led 4-2 seemingly on course to level the second round match.

Alcaraz then responded by unleashing his powerful groundstrokes to great effect, hitting the lines and pulling his opponent around the court to claim four consecutive games, completing his revenge and progressing into the quarter-finals to face the third seed, Italy’s Matteo Berrettini who in turn had ousted Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili 6-7(5) 6-2 6-3.

Andy Murray catches his breath during the gruelling second round match

Thomas Kronsteiner/Getty Images

Commenting on his performance, Murray said: “I need to be ruthless.”

The loss was the first suffered by Murray in Vienna where he has won the title on two previous occasions.

“I thought the beginning of the match was exceptional – both of us played very well,” he added.

“I was up a break in the second set and I was not ruthless enough in terms of going for the second break. I need to be more ruthless.

“That is what I did when I was at my best and I am just not quite there with that. It has cost me a few times.

“It will happen. I am not going to keep losing in the second or third round of tournaments.

“I will get better and I will improve, and I will breakthrough in one week or two weeks or a few months.

“I know I can play better than I am just now and I will. Hopefully my body holds up long enough for me to get that chance.”

Murray is now hoping for a wildcard for the Paris Masters and has entered Stockholm but he is “not planning” on playing the Davis Cup.



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