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Andy Murray secures biggest victory since hip surgery by beating Matteo Berrettini at Australian Open

January 17th, 2023

Andy Murray of Britain reacts after defeating Matteo Berrettini of Italy in their first round match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia – Andy Murray secures biggest victory since hip surgery by beating Matteo Berrettini at Australian Open – Aaron Favila/AP

Andy Murray rolled back the years with an epic five-set win over Matteo Berrettini at the Australian Open.

Bidding to beat a top-20 player at a grand slam for the first time since his hip problems began in 2017, Murray won the opening two sets before Berrettini fought back to level in a dramatic fourth-set tie-break.

The Italian 13th seed created a match point in the 10th game of the deciding set but dumped a simple backhand into the net with the court wide open and Murray held on to force a deciding tie-break.

A gruelling first point won by the Scot set the tone and Murray, who moved superbly, was able to celebrate a stunning 6-3 6-3 4-6 6-7 (7) 7-6 (6) victory after four hours and 49 minutes.

While such matches would have usually been contested in later rounds in his heyday, this will surely mean almost as much four years after the tearful press conference at Melbourne Park that seemed to herald the end of his career.

Murray said in his on-court interview: “I’ll be feeling this this evening and tomorrow but right now I’m just unbelievably happy and very proud of myself.

“I’ve put a lot of work into the last three months with my team, to give me the opportunity to perform in stadiums like this and matches like this and it paid off tonight.

“That’s the first time I’ve ever played one of those 10-point tie-breakers and it’s a bit different. He came back really strong and I was a bit lucky at the end with the net-cord.

“He was serving unbelievably and he’s a brilliant competitor as well, he always fights right to the end. I did well to get through.”

More to follow

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