Andy Murray saves match point, gets cheeky winner in epic victory over Matteo Berrettini – ‘I’ll be feeling it’

Andy Murray in action Credit: Alamy
Andy Murray in action Credit: Alamy

Andy Murray had to dug deep to beat Matteo Berrettini in the first round of the Australian Open as he claimed a win over a top 20 player in a Grand Slam for the first time in six years.

It was a performance that a young Murray would be proud of as he needed five sets to get the better of the 13th seed, winning 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-7 (7-9), 7-6 (10-5) in four hours and 49 minutes.

Known for going the distance during his younger days at Melbourne Park, Murray looked like he would get the job done in three sets this time around, but the Italian hit back strongly to take it to five sets only for the former world No 1 to claim the win in the super tie-breaker.

To add insult to injury for Berrettini, Murray won the match after a return hit the net and bounced over.

Murray was looking to win a match against a top 20 player at a Grand Slam for the first time since 2017 and he was quick out of the blocks as he broke the 2021 Wimbledon runner-up in game two before serving the set out to love.

He carried that momentum into the second set as he broke in the opening game and then went 2-0 up on sets with a second break in game nine.

After saving a break point in game four, Berrettini upped his level and broke in the next game and then held three service games comfortably to get on the scoreboard in terms of sets.

The fourth set went according to serve with no break points on offer for either player and Murray initially saved two set points before the Italian secured the set to take the match to a decider.

The fifth set was a nervy affair with both solid on serve early on before Berrettini finally put the pressure on Murray in game 10 as he eked out a break point. However, the Italian played a poor shot and the chance disappeared.

It went to the super tie-breaker (first to 10 points) and Murray dominated early on as he opened a 6-1 lead before his rival clawed his way back to 8-6. The three-time Grand Slam winner, though, was not to be denied as he chipped a return on match point and Lady Luck smiled down on him.

“I’ll be feeling it this evening and tomorrow, but right now I’m just unbelievably happy [and] proud of myself,” he said.

“I’ve put a lot of work into the last few months with my team who are here and to give me the opportunity to perform on stadiums like this on matches this against players like Matteo and it paid off.”

He added: “That’s the first time I have played one of those 10-point tie-breakers and it’s a bit different. When you are up 6-1, 7-1 it feels like you are still far away. He came back in the end and I was just lucky there in the end with a let court.”

Murray will face either Thanasi Kokkinakis from Australia or Italian Fabio Fognini in the second round.

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