Australian Open: Andy Murray holds off Matteo Berrettini to win five-set epic in Melbourne

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Australian Open Andy Murray holds off Matteo Berrettini to win five-set epic in Melbourne (3)

Andy Murray edged out Matteo Berrettini in a five-set thriller in Melbourne Sunday night, winning 16-14 in the fifth set to progress to the third round at the Australian Open. The world number three was pushed to the limit by the Italian as they slugged it out over five hours and 42 minutes at Melbourne Park.

The Scot twice appeared to have taken control of the match but each time Berrettini fought back and forced him to serve it out. Murray eventually prevailed after a blistering tiebreak that saw both players produce some outstanding rallies.”Well done mate,” said Berrettini after his defeat.”It’s been a pleasure playing against you again tonight.”

World No 1 Andy Murray won his second-round match at the Australian Open against 35th seed Matteo Berrettini on Monday, prevailing 16-14 in the fifth set.

Andy Murray won his second-round match at the Australian Open against 35th seed Matteo Berrettini on Monday, prevailing 16-14 in the fifth set.

The match lasted four hours and 26 minutes as Murray battled back from two sets down to progress to the next round.

Murray will now face French qualifier Gregoire Barrere next up, who defeated fellow Frenchman Stephane Robert 6-3 6-3 7-6 (7/4).

The world number three was pushed to the limit by the Italian as they slugged it out over five hours and 42 minutes at Melbourne Park.

Murray, who won the title in 2016 and lost to Roger Federer in last year’s final, looked like he might cruise through when he took a two-set lead but Berrettini fought back with some brilliant tennis.

The world number three was pushed to the limit by the Italian as they slugged it out over five hours and 42 minutes at Melbourne Park.

“I’m disappointed I didn’t play as well as I could have done,” said Murray after his fourth Australian Open semi-final appearance in five years. “Matteo played really well.”

The Scot twice appeared to have taken control of the match but each time Berrettini fought back and forced him to serve it out.

  • Murray won the first set 6-3
  • Berrettini won the second set 6-4
  • Murray won the third set 6-2, but he had been down 2-5 in that one and needed to save four break points to do so.
  • In the fourth set, Berrettini again came back from a deficit at 5-3 before winning it 6-4. At this point, it looked as though Murray might be losing his grip on his emotions as well as his serve; he smashed two balls into the crowd after losing a point (which may have been justified) and then hit another ball into an official during changeovers (which probably wasn’t). The Scot was warned by umpire Damir Skomina after serving two double faults in one game during this stretch; both times, he took control of himself quickly enough but appeared visibly frustrated with himself throughout most of this phase of play.* In contrast with how things were going for him physically and mentally during these moments–and indeed throughout much of this match–Murray showed incredible composure when holding serve at 5-5 in fifth set.* Despite being up against it physically due to leg issues earlier on in proceedings as well as fatigue from playing five sets already twice over now under hot conditions indoors without air conditioning (it’s summertime), Murray stayed calm enough under pressure situations that I couldn’t help but wonder if he’d been practicing some form meditation technique recently or perhaps just taking inspiration from Roger Federer’s legendary ability when facing adversity during matches themselves too often lately? Either way though: wow!
  • five-set epic in Melbourne.

Murray eventually prevailed after a blistering tiebreak that saw both players produce some outstanding rallies.

Murray eventually prevailed after a blistering tiebreak that saw both players produce some outstanding rallies.

Murray had two match points, but Berrettini fought back each time to force an extra set. The Scot won the first two sets 6-3 6-4 and then took the next three 6-2 6-7(5) 7-6(3) in front of an enthusiastic crowd at Hisense Arena.

The world number two will play Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro or American Donald Young in Sunday’s quarter-finals after they face each other in their third round clash on Saturday night (AEDT).

Andy Murray edged out Matteo Berrettini in a five-set thriller in Melbourne Sunday night.

Andy Murray edged out Matteo Berrettini in a five-set thriller in Melbourne Sunday night. The match lasted 4 hours and 23 minutes, making it the longest match of the tournament so far.

In his first Australian Open appearance since 2018, Murray struggled with his serve throughout most of the match, but managed to hold off Berrettini’s powerful groundstrokes with some big serving himself. In particular, Murray saved three break points during his service game at 3-4 down in the fourth set; he eventually served out that game before winning 16-14 in the fifth set tiebreak after saving two set points at 6-7 down (he had also saved two break points earlier).

Conclusion

Murray was clearly the better player over the course of the match, but Berrettini showed plenty of grit and determination in his first-round match. The Italian served well throughout, hitting 28 aces to Murray’s 24, and he also made up for his lack of experience by making fewer errors than his opponent (72 vs 80).

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