Australian Open: Andy Murray 'unbelievably happy' to beat Berrettini in first-round thriller

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Andy Murray pulled off a stunning victory over Matteo Berrettini at the Australian Open as the five-time runner-up enjoyed another big moment in Melbourne.

Unseeded this year, former world number one Murray survived a match point against him to take a first-round thriller against the Italian 13th seed.

Murray had not lost a grand slam match after winning the first two sets since a third-round clash against David Nalbandian at Wimbledon in 2005, his first grand slam main-draw appearance.

Yet he almost let such a lead slip away this time, before digging deep for a 6-3 6-3 4-6 6-7 (7-9) 7-6 (10-6) victory, achieved in four hours and 49 minutes.

Five-time Australian Open runner-up Murray faced a daunting opener, but both men would have hoped for a kinder draw.

It seemed to be going firmly the 35-year-old Scot's way when he swept through the opening two sets, but back came Berrettini to level up, edging a tight fourth that could have gone either way.

Berrettini had the contest at his mercy at match point against Murray's serve at 5-4 in the decider, only to clatter a close-range backhand into the net when it seemed sure he would put away a winner.

The stakes were high as the match entered a final-set tie-break, and when Murray sped into a 5-0 lead he looked firmly in control. There were slight wobbles from that point, but Murray made sure, helped by a lucky net cord on match point as a service return trickled over.

"I didn't know that," Murray said afterwards, when told about his record when leading matches by two sets.

Berrettini lost his first meeting with Murray, which came in Beijing in 2019, but the Italian won all three of their next matches, on grass at London's Queen's Club and Stuttgart before a US Open victory last September.

Former Wimbledon and US Open winner Murray, still playing thanks to his metal hip, expects Tuesday's match on a scorching day in Melbourne to take a toll.

"I'll be feeling this, this evening and tomorrow, but right now I'm unbelievably happy, very proud of myself," Murray said in an on-court interview.

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