Andy Murray Saves Match Point to Win in Five Sets at US Open
(September 1, 2020) NEW YORK – Former champion Andy Murray came back from two sets and a break of serve down, saving a match point to beat Yoshihito Nishioka 4-6, 4-6, 7-6, 7-6, 6-4 in the first round of the US Open on Tuesday. The match took 4 hours and 39 minutes.
Murray faced a match point at 5-6 in the fourth set and saved it with a service winner.
For three-time major and two-time Olympic singles champion from Scotland, it was his 10th career comeback from two sets to none down to win a match.
The 33-year-old Murray is coming off of his second hip surgery back in January of 2019, his first in 2018. He came back to the tour in November.
In his on-court interview after the match, the 2012 winner made a request for an emergency ice bath: “They have one in the locker room and they said it’s for emergencies,” he said. “For me this is an emergency. Right now my body hurts and I need to recover as fast as possible. I’ll ask and see if they allow me to use the ice bath here.”
“I need to rest up and try to recover the best I can because that’s by far the most tennis I’ve played since 2019, when I played [Roberto] Bautista [Agut] at the Australian Open. I need to recover well.”
“Definitely wasn’t the best match that I’ve played,” Murray told the media in his news conference. “First couple of sets, I don’t know if you guys heard me talking on the court after the match, but I was just saying I got the balance completely wrong. At the beginning I was not doing enough with the ball, then he was dictating the points. I started being too aggressive and going for too much and making mistakes.
“Finally I started to get, I guess, a little bit the balance right of what I had to do on the court. I actually finished, like, wasn’t playing really well all the time, but at moments I was starting to hit the ball better, serving better, yeah, moving forward a bit more at the right times. I was moving forward in the second set, third set, but probably at the wrong moments.
“Yeah, just got that balance right at the end. It was a pretty special one to get through really, because I didn’t play my best. No one there watching. It was a long match, five-setter, first one I played in a long time. Great effort to get through”
Murray was able to use the ice bath. “They said it’s fine to use it. They have two in there. Obviously, like, on the off days and stuff, they’re trying to restrict the amount of players that are in the locker room, but also using the facilities in there. They said yeah, after a match like that, of course, you can go in and use it, which was helpful”
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Murray will play 15th seed Félix Auger-Aliassime of Canada in the second round. He beat Brazilian Thiago Monteiro 6-3, 6-7(7), 7-6(6), 7-6(6) in 3 hours and 51 minutes.
“He’s a great champion.” said the Canadian about his next opponent. “I’ll be expecting the best from him next match. I don’t want to put into my head or consider that because of the injuries or because of the surgeries he’s had, the comeback he’s made, that this puts me in an advantage or makes a difference on the outcome of the match.
“I’m going to prepare myself for a battle. I’m going to expect the best from him. Obviously we’re all glad I think to see him back. I watched the whole way of his recovery. It’s good to see him playing good again and healthy. It’s an honor for me, yeah, to face up with a guy like Andy.”
Murray said: “He hits a big ball. He moves well. I hit with him once only in Beijing last year. I think that was the only time I’d hit with him.
“Yeah, I mean, I think he’s around 20, 21 in the world, ranking-wise? Something like that. He’s getting up to the top of the game. I think he quite obviously likes playing on the hard courts. He’s had some struggles with his serve at times. That’s something that I’ll look to capitalize on.
“But yeah, I mean, he’s a top, top young player. He’ll have an excellent, excellent career for sure. He’s been really good since he was very young. I think physically he’s a fantastic mover, good athlete. Yeah, he’s developed fast.”