Great Britain’s Andy Murray nets 500th career hard-court victory

DUBAI   -   Threetime major champion Andy Murray from Great Britain won his 500th career hardcourt match when he beat Canadian Denis Shapovalov 4-6, 7-6 (5), 6-3 in the first round of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Monday. Murray -- who joined Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andre Agassi and Rafael Nadal in the 500 club -- said in a post-match interview that he “probably (doesn’t) have too long left but I’ll do the best that I can these last few months,” a possible hint that the 36-year-old is considering retirement. No. 2 seed Andrey Rublev of Russia rallied past China’s Zhizhen Zhang 6-7 (4), 6-2, 6-4, while Polish third seed Hubert Hurkacz outlasted German Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6 (5), 6-7 (4), 7-6 (6). No. 7 seed Alexander Bublik also needed three sets to top Czech qualifier Tomas Machac 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (5), and Dutchman Botic van de Zandschulp upset French sixth seed Adrian Mannarino 7-6 (3), 7-5. American Sebastian Korda knocked off Russia’s Pavel Kotov 6-0, 6-2 in 54 minutes, and Tallon Griekspoor of the Netherlands led 7-5, 2-0 when Jordanian opponent Abdullah Shelbayh retired. Two seeded U.S. players lost their first-round matches at Acapulco, Mexico. Great Britain’s Jack Draper needed just 86 minutes to oust seventhseeded Tommy Paul 6-0, 6-4, and Italy’s Matteo Arnaldi stunned fourth-seeded Taylor Fritz 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. Draper never dropped his serve, shaking off three break points while converting four of his five break opportunities. Arnaldi wound up with a 39-22 edge in winners, while he and Fritz each committed 16 unforced errors.

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