Andy Murray defeated Laurent Lokoli in three sets to go to the quarterfinals of the ATP Challenger Tour 175 tournament in Aix-en-Provence.
At the Open Aix Provence Credit Agricole, Murray saved his sixth match point to win 6-4 5-7 6-3. For the first time since Indian Wells in March, the 35-year-old, who is now ranked 52nd and 135 spots higher than the Frenchman, made back-to-back victories.
In Friday’s quarterfinal, he will compete against Luca Van Assche, another French player. Murray won the opening set by a narrow margin before breaking serve to take the second set 5-2. However, the three-time major champion was unable to convert two match points as Lokoli rallied to a 5-4 score with strong home crowd support.
Lokoli won the second set after another two match opportunities were wasted and a third break point was converted by Murray to put him up 5-3 in the final. Lokoli held onto a fifth match point, but Murray ultimately triumphed at the sixth try, much to his relief.
Sabalenka to compete in Madrid final
Maria Sakkari was easily defeated by Aryna Sabalenka in straight sets to go to the Madrid Open championship round. The world number two defeated her Greek opponent 6-4, 6-1, dropping just five games in the process.
24-year-old Belarussian Sabalenka will now compete in her second straight clay-court final against world No. 1 Iga Swiatek, who easily defeated Veronika Kudermetova 6-1, 6-1 in the other semifinal.
Sabalenka is seeking a second Madrid victory in three years having won the competition in 2021, while she also won her first Grand Slam at the Australian Open in January.