WATCH: Tennis Channel Live discusses Stefanos Tsitsipas' tough first round in Rotterdam.

Andy Murray is looking right at home at the ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament. The 2009 champion—who commuted to Rotterdam on a Eurostar train from London—aced a stern test against Alexander Bublik 7-6(6), 6-4 to return to the second round on Wednesday.

“For me it’s really convenient. I took the train here, literally to Rotterdam Central,” Murray said in a pre-tournament interview on why he enjoys coming to this event. “It was like three and a half hours, so it’s very easy for me to get here.”

That sense of comfort and familiarity showed on the ATP 500 event’s center court as well, where the former World No. 1 leaned on his experience to dispatch the always-tricky Bublik. There are 67 spots between them on the ATP Rankings, with Murray sitting just outside the Top 100 and the Kazakh riding high after claiming his first title last week in Montpellier.

A tightly contested opening set saw Murray rally after being a break down, forcing a tiebreak. The Brit edged in front as he ran down Bublik’s signature dropshots, and fired a smart lob on his way to closing it out after 68 minutes. With the momentum on his side the second set was much more straightforward, as Murray claimed the decisive break at 4-3 and served out the victory to love.


“There were some tough moments in the first set for both of us,” Murray said afterwards. “I just managed to come through at the end of it. Some great returns off some big second serves from him at the end and I did a good job.

“It’s not easy playing against someone like that, huge serves, a lot of drop shots and you’ve got to keep your focus and I did that well tonight.”

His next opponent will likely be an even bigger test for Murray’s focus, as he faces the No. 3 seed Felix Auger-Aliassime for a spot in the quarterfinals. The Canadian had to fight back against Egor Gerasimov after dropping the first set, before cruising to a 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 victory.

Auger-Aliassime made his ATP main draw debut here as a 17-year-old and reached the final in 2020, so like Murray, he’s got some history with Rotterdam as well.

“I’m looking forward to that one,” Murray said. “He started the year pretty well and is one of the best young players just now. I’ll need to be on my game if I want to beat him, but it’s a great test for me and we’ll see what happens out there.”

It will be the pair’s second tour-level meeting, with Auger-Aliassime claiming a straight-sets win in their 2020 US Open clash.