Under the Patronage of H.h. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai

February 18- March 2, 2024
Dubai Duty Free tennis stadium
February 18- March 2, 2024
Dubai Duty Free tennis stadium
February 28, 2024

Murray’s hopes of Dubai fairytale end as Humbert seals QF berth

2017 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships winner bows out 6-2, 6-4 in front of adoring fans at Dubai Tennis Stadium
2023 beaten finalist Andrey Rublev through to last eight after ending qualifier Arthur Cazaux’s fine run

Dubai, UAE—February 28, 2024: Andy Murray’s hopes of a Dubai fairytale on what is likely to be his last appearance at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships were brought to a halt by in-form Frenchman Ugo Humbert 6-2, 6-4 on Centre Court at Dubai Tennis Stadium on Wednesday night.

The three-time Grand Slam champion, a winner of this tournament in 2017, cut a frustrated figure against the No5 seed, 11 years his junior. Clearly desperate to give his vocal Dubai fans something to cheer Murray, who beat Fernando Verdasco in the final here seven years ago, was constantly talking to himself as he struggled with his own game and the energy of his opponent.

The 36-year-old Scot won the opening game on serve but Humbert, who needed three sets to see off veteran wildcard Gael Monfils in his opening match, broke the Murray serve twice in succession and simply had too much for Murray as he took out the set 6-2.

The second set followed a similar path with Murray holding serve in the opening game, only for Humbert to break twice in a row and showed calmness to see out the set, wrap up victory and seal a quarter-final spot.

Murray was giving a standing ovation as he left Centre Court in Dubai for what is probably the final time, with fans acknowledging his service to not just the sport but to the evolution of this tournament.

Watch Andy Murray Press Conference

Speaking to the media after the resounding defeat, the 2012 Olympic gold medallist admitted he is approaching the closing stages of his illustrious career. “Yeah, I mean, I’m likely not going to play past this summer,” Murray said. “I get asked about it after every single match that I play, every single tournament that I play.

“I’m not going to talk more about that between now and whenever the time comes for me to stop. But yeah, I don’t plan on playing much past this summer.”

For his part Humbert, who has an ATP title to his name already this year following victory in Marseille, was a picture of relaxation as he celebrated his victory and a spot in the quarterfinals.

“Consistency has been the key for me this year,” said the 25-year-old. “I’m really happy that I’m playing well. It’s really nice to play in a venue like this in front of a great crowd. I was really calm today and knew what I needed to do.”

Andrey Rublev

In the bottom half of the draw, No. 2 seed and last year’s runner-up Andrey Rublev became the first man to book a quarter-final spot, ending the dream of French qualifier Arthur Cazaux in the process.

Cazaux, making his debut in Dubai this week had produced some fine tennis to get through the qualifiers and see off Italy’s Lorenzo Musetti in the last 32. But Rublev took control of this last-16 match on Centre Court at Dubai Tennis Stadium from the opening game, breaking his opponent’s serve and holding firm to take the first set 6-4.

The second set went with serve until Rublev, a winner in Hong Kong earlier this year, broke Cazaux in game seven and held his subsequent service games to seal a 6-4, 6-4 victory.

Bublik booked his place in the quarterfinals with a 7-6 (10-8), 7-6 (7-2) victory over Tallon Griekspoor of the Netherlands. Bublik, who survived a scare in his opening match of the week, coming back from a set down against qualifier Tomas Machac, was pushed hard again by Griekspoor, but dug deep to take victory.

The Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships is owned and organised by Dubai Duty Free and held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Tickets for this week’s ATP event remain available to purchase at www.dubaidutyfreetennischampionships.com.

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