Murray Survives In Five In Australian Open Comeback, Medvedev Wins; Nadal Back Wed.
by Staff | January 18th, 2022, 11:40 am
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Andy Murray is becoming Mr. 5 sets at Grand Slams. The former No. 1 played another grinding marathon match last night in Melbourne outlasting Nikolaz Basilashvili 6-1, 3-6, 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-4 in 3 hours, 43 minutes.

Murray had the full support of the crowd against the man he had just defeated last week in Sydney and last summer at Wimbledon. And like those matches, this would also prove to be taxing.

Though early, it was Murray dominating the error-prone Basilasvili, but the Georgian found his range with his powerful groundstrokes.

Murray’s defense frustrated Basilasvili who he broke to lead 3-0 in the third. But the 5-time Australian Open finalist couldn’t hold it. Basilashvili came back to level but Murray again showed his resolve, getting through another tough match in his first match on the grounds in three years.

“It is amazing,” Murray said on court of his return. “It has been a tough three, four years. I have put a lot of work to be back here and I have played on this court many times and the atmosphere has been incredible. I have always had fantastic support and this is the court I thought I potentially played my last match on. But it is good to be back, winning a five-set battle like that. I could not ask for any more.”

Murray knows that physically and with his metal hip, he’ll need to shorten matches.

“When I look back at a lot of my matches in like 2015, 2016, I was sort of efficient and clinical, when I had opportunities and when I was ahead of guys, I’d finish them off quickly,” he said.

“Right now, because I’m not quite playing at that level, the matches are maybe a little bit tighter. So hopefully if I can continue to improve my level, I’ll be able to shorten some of the matches.”

Up next for Murray will be Taro Daniel.

Tournament favorite Daniil Medvedev had no trouble with Henri Laaksonen following 6-1, 6-4, 7-6(3) win. He’ll now get Nick Kyrgios.

Kyrgios made a strong debut to his 2022 season shrugging off a recent COVID isolation to thump Liam Broady 6-4, 6-4, 6-3. Krygios spoke about facing Medvedev on Thursday.

“Obviously either way it’s going to be a hell of an experience for me. He’s probably ‘the’ best player in the world at the moment. I’m excited for that moment. That’s why I play the game,” Kyrgios said.

“That was always something I wanted to prove to people that someone like me could do, win those matches. I’m not going to go into it with a lot of expectation. I’m going to go out there, have some fun, play my game. I have a pretty set-in-stone game plan of what I need to do to have success.

“He’s a hard worker, ticks all the boxes. To play it on John Cain would be –I’m just going to call it the Kyrgios Court – would be fun.”

Stefanos Tsitsipas and his bum elbow made a promising start with a 6-2, 6-4, 6-3 win over Sweden’s Mikael Ymer.

Overall, it was a good day for seeds, however No. 8 Casper Ruud had to withdraw to an ankle injury he suffered in practice a few days ago.

John Isner fell to big-serving countryman Maxime Cressy in five sets and Richard Gasquet eliminated Ugo Humbert.

Andrey Rublev, Felix Auger-Aliassime, Jannik Simmer, Alex De Minaur and Marin Cilic were also winners on a busy Tuesday.

Tomorrow, Rafael Nadal returns to face German qualifier Yannick Hanfmann. Gael Monfils meets Aleksander Bublik and Alexander Zverev faces the likable Australian John Millman.

WEDNESDAY AUSTRALIAN OPEN SCHEDULE
Rod Laver Arena
Day session – From 11am
M. Trevisan Q v P. Badosa 8
A. Barty 1 v L. Bronzetti Q
Y. Hanfmann Q v R. Nadal 6
Night session – From 7pm
M. Brengle v N. Osaka 13
A. Zverev 3 v J. Millman

Margaret Court Arena
Day session – From 11am
H. Tan v E. Svitolina 15
S. Kwon v D. Shapovalov 14
B. Krejcikova 4 v X. Wang WC
Night session – From 7pm
Q. Zheng Q v M. Sakkari 5
G. Monfils 17 v A. Bublik


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