Andy Murray overcame Alexander Bublik 6-3 7-6(4) at the BOSS Open in Stuttgart, in a hard-fought victory over the tournament’s seventh seed.
The former world No. 1 saved three set points in the second set to recover from 2-5 down, winning the match in one hour and 42 minutes.
“He is predictable in his unpredictability,” Murray said following the match in quotes published by atptour.com. “You are prepared for some amazing shots and then maybe some loose games.
“Today he played some amazing stuff for five or six games in the second set and everything was coming off and I was getting a bit frustrated, but I kept fighting. Held a tough game at 2-5 and I thought I played well through to the finish.
“It was quite tricky the conditions today, it was quite blustery.
“I moved well on the court well. The court is very dry, so it is nice to move on and hopefully into the weekend the conditions will be a bit calmer and I can play some better tennis.”
The Scot has not featured in the majority of the clay-court events to focus on his grass campaign, a decision which has reaped dividends after reaching the semi-finals of the Surbiton Trophy ATP Challenger Tour event last week.
He is yet to drop a set in his opening two matches in Stuttgart, and will move into the top 50 of the ATP Rankings should he reach the semi-finals.
Murray will now turn his attention to a match against top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas who beat Swiss qualifier Dominic Stricker 6-3 6-4.
Elsewhere, Germany’s Oscar Otte advanced past fourth seed Denis Shapovalov 7-6(6) 7-6(4). He showed his fighting spirit to save one set point on serve at 4-5 30/40 in the first set, and eventually triumphed following a second-set tie-break in a match lasting one hour and 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, Italian Lorenzo Sonego beat Germany’s Jan-Lennard Struff 7-6(2) 7-6(4) to set up a tantalising clash with second seed Matteo Berrettini.