Andy Murray boosted hopes he can be a force on grass this summer when he clocked his best ranking win in more than five years on Friday.
The 35-year-old Scot is through to the Stuttgart Open semi-finals after defeating world No.5 Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6, 6-3.
That represented his best win since he beat Novak Djokovic to win the ATP Finals at the O2 Arena in late 2016, which sent him to world No1.
Andy Murray claimed a sensational victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets on Friday
Overcoming the Greek on his least favoured surface in a 250-level tournament is not of the same magnitude, but is a reminder that few people know their way around a grass court like Murray, who will next face Nick Kyrgios on Saturday.
‚I played a really solid tiebreak,‘ said Murray, who took it 7-4. ‚His serve dropped off a little bit in the second set and when I was in the rallies I felt like I was dictating a lot of them, it was a good performance.‘
The crucial break in the second set was a classic from the double Wimbleton champion, brought about by a brilliant cross-court angled pass that left Tsitsipas floundering at the net.
The 35-year-old Scot outlasted Tsitsipas in a tense first set that ended in a tie break
If anything, he could have won the second set more easily. Murray’s form is building nicely after making the semi-finals at Surbiton last week, and he plans to play next week at Queen’s, which has been his most consistently successful venue.
His short-term goal is to get his ranking high enough to ensure a seeding at Wimbleton. That goal is getting closer with him now assured of moving to the mid-to-low 50s.
Harriet Dart became the last Brit to go out of the women’s singles at the Rothesay Open in Nottingham when she was unable to capitalise on a promising start to her quarter-final.
She ended up being beaten 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 by the sixth seed from America, Alison Riske.
World No 5 Tsitsipas failed to take his chances in a gripping encounter in Stuttgart