Murray Summons More Final-Set Magic To Win Indian Wells Opener

  • Posted: Mar 10, 2023

Murray Summons More Final-Set Magic To Win Indian Wells Opener

Murray again passes three-hour mark in victory

Seven times this season Andy Murray has contested a deciding set. Each time, he has produced his best tennis in the clutch moments to win.

Lucky No. 7 came on Thursday at the BNP Paribas Open, where the Briton beat Tomas Martin Etcheverry 6-7(5), 6-1, 6-4 in the opening round. Murray, who gave a glowing report on his fitness ahead of the tournament, outlasted the Argentine in a three-hour, 12-minute match to set up a second-round meeting with 15th seed Pablo Carreno Busta.

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While Murray did not need to save a match point on this occasion — he saved eight last month in Doha, where he won four three-setters to reach his 71st tour-level final — he did have to fight off two break points at 3-4 in the final set. The 35-year-old scored the decisive break on his fifth break point of the ensuing game on an Etcheverry double fault.

Ethceverry troubled Murray in the early stages with his aggressive baseline game, combining power and spin to great effect. In a thrilling first-set tie-break, he thwarted a Murray pass attempt with fast hands at the net and later clipped the very edge of the line with a forehand winner on set point, leaving Murray incredulous.

Murray countered with depth and precision to turn the match around, finishing with 28 winners to his opponent’s 36. He closed out the win with his sixth ace of the match.

The Briton did not drop serve in the final two sets, saving all three break points against him. He created 20 break chances on return, including 10 in the opening set and eight in the third. Murray also converted on his only two break points in the second set to force a deciding set.

More to follow…

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