Andy Murray turned back the clock with an exceptional first round win over Matteo Berrettini in the Australian Open Championship. The three-time major winner was sizzling at Rod Laver Arena on a hot Witness day Matches were suspended for several hours On the outdoor courts at Melbourne Park after officials resorted to the sweltering heat rule.
On Center Court at Melbourne Park it was the 35-year-old veteran who proved a tough nut to crack, booking his place in the second round with a pulsating 6-3 6-3 4-6 6-7 7-6 win. In a vintage display inside a bustling center field, Murray showed flashes of an old hero as he ran the Italian’s big batters all over the court.
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Murray started the match in inspired style, taking the opening two sets to stun Berettini and the British home crowd dreaming of another fantasy moment at Melbourne Park. The Italian took a hard-fought second set, and nothing could separate the players in the fourth.
Berrettini was forced to stay in the match after Murray took a 6-5 lead but the 26-year-old held his nerve to force a fourth-set tiebreak. Murray put the packed court on its feet after a great breaker pass, before saving a set point to tie things up at 6-6.
The Brit soon found himself another point down after his diving shot sailed into the net marginally long. However, an uncharacteristically bad unforced error from the Italian made the chance beggar.
Murray missed a great chance of his own when he volleyed wide, and Berrettini fired home. The Italian finally converted his third set point after Murray finished with a powerful base kick to win another high-quality rally to send the match into the deciding fifth set.
Murray has a reputation for being one of the best players on the tour, but Berrettini looked full for a run in the fifth set. The Italian seemed to have most of the answers to what Murray had to say, although both players seemed fairly comfortable on serve.
With neither man able to snatch a deciding break, it was Berrettini who forced Murray to stay in the contest after taking a 5-4 lead in a deciding set. The veteran Italian was on the ropes after snatching a match point opportunity but squandered the chance when a tense volley hit the net.
Murray eventually held serve but soon found his back against the wall again as Berrettini’s serve proved impossible to break. The Briton enjoyed a straight match on his racket as the match aptly devolved into another tiebreaker to clinch the match.
The 35-year-old built a 3-0 lead at the breaker after a display of precision hitting from the baseline. A slight netting error from Berrettini increased Murray’s advantage and when players changed he finished six points behind, and it was the Briton who led by five.
The tennis world is blown away by Andy Murray’s stunning win
Brittini looked shocked as his seasoned opponent’s expertise and cunning shined through. Despite the Italians’ best efforts to survive, Murray finally sealed the tiebreaker 10-6 to book a place in the second round and send the tennis world into a tailspin.
The drama left viewers around the world in disbelief, with many distraught at the fact that it was only a first-round match. The high quality contest had fans at Melbourne Park on the edge of their seats and spectators unable to turn off their televisions.
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