‘Proud’ Murray wins five-set epic on return to Australian Open

WhatsApp Image 2022 01 18 at 4.40.22 PM

Andy
Murray said that the injury hell which nearly forced him into retirement now
seemed worth all the pain after battling to his first win at the Australian
Open since 2017 on Tuesday.

The
three-time Grand Slam champion, playing with a metal hip following
career-saving surgery in 2019, heroically emerged victorious from five epic
sets against 21st seed Nikoloz Basilashvili.

The
34-year-old Murray wrestled with the big-hitting Georgian for almost four hours
before claiming his place in the second round, where he will face Japanese
qualifier Taro Daniel.

Scotland’s
Murray, ranked 113 and playing as a tournament wild card, showed his trademark fighting
spirit to edge home in the gripping final set and clinch a 6-1, 3-6, 6-4, 6-7
(5/7), 6-4 victory.

It was his
first match at the Australian Open since 2019, when he went out in the first
round. He made a tearful exit and it was thought that it might be his farewell.
He had surgery on his hip weeks later, his career at stake.

“I
think winning matches like today and competing against guys that are around
20-25 in the rankings, yeah, I’m proud of that,” Murray, a former world
number one, said.

“It’s
not easy. I put a lot of work and effort in. Even since the operation I’ve had
various issues as well. Kept going and, yeah, days like today make it
worthwhile.”

Of his
return to the court that conjured painful memories of his last tilt at the
Australian Open, Murray added: “I don’t think much about what happened
three years ago. I know you’d probably like me to say something different, but
that’s the truth.”

His
nail-biting victory over Basilashvili continued an intense rivalry between the
pair, with Murray rallying from a set down to defeat him last week in Sydney
and also prevailing over four sets in the first round at Wimbledon last year.

Thundering
groundstrokes

Murray
grabbed the opening set with the loss of just one game, but Basilashvili
levelled it up with the second set, before trading blows with the wily Scot in
the third.

Basilashvili
was hammering his groundstrokes and Murray had to use all his guile and guts to
get the ball back in play and work for an opening.

They went to
a deciding set after Basilashvili refused to go quietly, winning a titanic
tiebreaker in the fourth set.

The Georgian
began the final set poorly, falling behind 0-40 on serve and netting a backhand
to hand Murray a break.

But yet
again Basilashvili refused to give in and broke back to level at 4-4.

Murray held
serve and then got to 0-40 on Basilashvili’s service in the 10th game before
taking the epic, to crowd pandemonium inside the arena.

Murray lost
to Roger Federer once in the final of the Australian Open and four times to
Novak Djokovic.

But Murray
is a three-time Grand Slam champion, winning the 2012 US Open, and the
following year he became the first British man to win the Wimbledon singles
crown in 77 years. He won it again in 2016.

Author: desi123

Desi123.com is an online news portal that aims to provide the latest trendy news for Asians living in Asia and around the World.

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