Andy Murray Outlasts Kimmer Coppejans in Antwerp and Wins His First ATP Match in Europe in 16 Months


Andy Murray’s hip is still recovering, but he’s made some encouraging results in the last few months. After a solid tournament in China, the three-time Grand Slam champion battled past Kimmer Coppejans 6-4, 7-6 (4) in the first round of the tournament in Antwerp. This marked his first win on European soil after 16 months. His previous victory in the “old continent” was in July 2018 when he beat Stan Wawrinka at Eastbourne.

Murray, who will move up to the 243rd spot in the rankings, was given a stern test by the world no. 158. 

Murray took a quick 3-0 lead in the first set but made three double faults, which resulted in a break back. The Scot broke again in the 10th game of the first set. He won the second set after a tie-break in a match that lasted nearly two hours. 

He will next face the Bolivian Hugo Dellien or the eight seed Pablo Cuevas in the last 16.

Antwerp is probably going to be Murray’s last tournament of the year. There is, however, a slim possibility he might play the Davis Cup next month. Murray plans on playing in the Australian Open in January, but he’ll take a month-long break after the tournament in Antwerp.

His doubles partner from this year’s Queen’s Club, Feliciano Lopez, beat another Briton, Cameron Norrie. The 38-year old veteran from Spain claimed the only break of serve in the fifth game of the second set. He won the match 7-6 (7-2), 6-4, after an hour and 29 minutes of play. 

Norrie, who is currently the 61st player in the world, had a chance to make a comeback in the final game of the match when he had Lopez at 0-40. But he was unable to break back and eventually lost the game.

The 24-year-old Norrie will become the British number two on Monday despite the defeat because Kyle Edmund, who was the defending champion in Antwerp, failed to qualify this year.