Melbourne runner-up five times Andy Murray wins his 50th Australian Open match with a thrilling 6-3 6-3 4-6 6-7 (7-9) 7-6 (10-6) triumph against Italian Matteo Berrettini. In the second round, Dan Evans joins Murray and Emma Raducanu. Andy Murray defeated Matteo Berrettini in a five-set thriller in the first round of the Australian Open on Tuesday. In a rollercoaster of a ride on Rod Laver Arena, the five-time runner-up survived a match point before winning a stunning 6-3 6-3 4-6 6-7 (7-9) 7-6 (10-6) triumph against the 13th seed.
Epic Moment in Melbourne for Andy Murray
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Andy Murray, 35, won the first two sets in his bid to defeat a top 20 player at a Grand Slam for the first time since his hip troubles started in 2017. Berrettini came back to equalize in a thrilling fourth-set tie-break. In the 10th game of the decisive set, the Italian 13th seed had a match point but crashed a straightforward backhand into the net with the court wide open, enabling Andy Murray to hold on and force a tie-break. Andy Murray, who moved beautifully, was able to celebrate a surprise triumph after four hours and 49 minutes thanks to a grueling opening point won by the Scot.
I’ll feel it this evening and tomorrow, but right now I’m simply really delighted and proud of myself,” the 35-year-old added. “I’ve put a lot of effort into the previous three months with my team, to give me the chance to play in venues like this and matches like this and it paid off today. It’s my first time playing one of those 10-point tie-breakers, and it’s a little strange. He fought back hard, and I got fortunate with the net cord at the end.
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“He was serving brilliantly and he’s a terrific competitor as well, he usually fights through to the finish. I did well to get by. With the roof closed owing to the high heat, Andy Murray was sharp from the outset, capitalizing on Berrettini’s slow start. Berrettini is regarded as one of the tour’s hardest challengers, having reached the Wimbledon final in 2021 and the semi-finals here last year. Murray easily served out the first set after breaking in the second game, and then began the second set with another break, sending a cross-court backhand diving past the bewildered Berrettini in a classic manner
Berrettini was despondent by the time he has broken again at the conclusion of the second set, but, like with so many of Andy Murray’s most famous moments, the Scot would have to do it the hard way. Andy Murray would have been off the court even sooner if he had converted two break chances in the fourth game of the third set, but Berrettini hung on and started to play much better from then, slamming down aces and revving up his huge forehand.
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Andy Murray was an inch away from carving out a match point when Berrettini, who had cramped up severely on two set points, released himself to capture it in a thrilling tie-break. He too seemed to be in command of the final, his serve immovable as the pressure mounted on Murray, but Berrettini blew his opportunity and the match went to a tie-break. Andy Murray was halfway to the required ten points when Berrettini scored, and although the Italian threatened a tense finish, Murray capitalized on a stroke of luck to secure a surprise victory.
The former world No. 1 talked before the match about how much better he felt about his game and condition, and it was clear from the outset that this Andy Murray was not the guy who has struggled for victories since returning from hip surgery in 2019. After the play was halted due to excessive heat, Dan Evans completed a four-set win against Argentina’s Facundo Bagnis.
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With temperatures in the mid-30s, the tournament’s heat stress scale, which also considers humidity and wind speed, reached five minutes after 2 p.m., forcing play to be halted on the outer courts. Before play was called off, the British No. 2 had taken almost three hours to build a two-sets-to-one advantage. With a break in the eighth game, he stepped up in the fourth and served out a 6-4 4-6 6-4 6-4 triumph.
The temperature was already over 30 degrees when play started, with Evans hoping to duplicate his first-round victory against Bagnis in 2017 when he advanced to the fourth round. The 32-year-old Argentinian is rated 91st and has never won a main-draw match in Melbourne, so on paper, this was a favorable draw, but Evans struggled from the outset, losing service in his first game.
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He battled back strongly, winning four games in a row, but Bagnis was a tough opponent, and when Evans recovered from 1-4 in the second set, a volley dropped into the tramlines enabled the Argentinian to equalize. It was a nail-biter in the third when Evans seized the lead with a break for 4-3, and he won the set before organizers said the heat stress scale had reached five, the level at which continuing to play outdoors is considered risky. Play resumed at 5 p.m., and Evans won after three hours and 29 minutes to advance to the second round against experienced Frenchman Jeremy Chardy.