First the first time in his career, Andy Murray played three tiebreakers in a 3-set match, topping Frances Tiafoe 7-6(2), 6-7(7), 7-6(8).
Murray overcame a break down in the third set and saved two match points in the marathon win. At 3 hours, 35 minutes, it was the longest best-of-3 set match of the season.
“I think that’s the first time in my career I’ve played a 7-6, 6-7, 7-6. I don’t think I’ve ever played a match like that,” Murray told the crowd. “I think it’s the longest three set match I’ve played by quite a distance. I’m tired right now, obviously it was an unbelievable battle.”
Murray, who has won his last five first round matches, served 21 aces and held his nerve saving both match points in the final set breaker.
“Nowadays obviously my body is old now. I’ve played a lot of matches on the Tour. I don’t mind playing long matches, but that was taking it to another level,” Murray added. “Brilliant match, amazing atmosphere, thanks to everyone who came and supported. It’s just so nice to be back and playing in front of crowds again.”
Murray and his metal hip will get a day off tomorrow before a date with No. 2 seed Diego Schwartzman in the second round.
Lloyd Harris and Lorenzo Musetti were also winners. While Tiafoe fell, Jenson Brooksby upset Reilly Opelka and Brandon Nakashima knocked out Alex De Minaur.
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