The men have been unable to match their female counterparts playing the Rothesay Open in Nottingham where Andy Murray is the sole survivor of the six British starters to make the semi-final while three women have made the las four in their competition.
That's the best I've played across the last two weeks in terms of how I hit the ball and that was really positive. Andy Murray
As Andy Murray pointed out following his quarter final win in the Challenger event: “This week has been great and a couple of weeks ago we were hearing that British tennis is not doing well,” he told the BBC after completing a 7-6(2) 7-5 victory over Swiss Dominic Stricker.
“You want all the players to reach their potential. Not everyone is going to win Wimbledon or a Grand Slam, but you want everyone to make the most of this opportunity to play tennis.
“The women have done really well, and it should be a fun weekend for the British fans. It’s rare that we have so many players in the later stages of a tournament.”
It took one-hour and 49-minutes for Murray to advance past the 20-year-old Swiss who was seeded eight, losing just one point on his first serve in the opening set but had to fight back from a 1-3 deficit in the second but gaining a decisive break in the 11th game before closing out for his eighth consecutive victory on grass.
“Really, really tight match today against one of the best young players in the world,” Murray said in his on-court interview. “He has a really good game, huge shots from the back of the court but also really nice touch up at the net.
“I thought in the first-set tie-break I played really well, came up with some really good passing shots to get me that tie-break. In the second set, I think when I broke back immediately when he went 3-1 up, I think it gave me the momentum back and I felt like I was creating a lot of chances. That’s the best I’ve played across the last two weeks in terms of how I hit the ball and that was really positive.”
The three-time 36-year-old major champion has now won 13 of his past 14 Challenger-level matches, including title runs in Aix-en-Provence and last week in Surbiton and will next face Nuno Borges of Portugal, the third seed, who eased past Japan’s Sho Shimabukuro 6-4 6-4.
In other Nottingham action, French qualifier Arthur Cazaux advanced to the semi-finals after ousting Canada’s Gabriel Diallo 7-6(2) 7-5 and Germany’s Domiik Koepfer, seeded five, moved past Britain’s wild carded George Loffhagen 7-5 4-6 6-3.
The 22-year-old Loffhagen, 414th in the world, had never previously won a match at Challenger Tour level so his run to the last eight was the best series of wins of his career with victories over Finland’s Otto Virtanen and China’s Shang Juncheng, ranked 131st and 176th respectively.