Andy Murray finally delivers a knockout punch against a top-10 player as he beats Hubert Hurkacz in Vienna

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Andy Murray in action

He had been threatening for a while to beat a player in the top 10 and Andy Murray finally pulled off a win as he upset Hubert Hurkacz in the opening round of the Vienna Open.

The former world No 1 did it the hard way as he failed to convert a match point in the second set tie-breaker before getting the job done in three sets, winning 6-4, 7-6 (8-6), 6-4 in two hours and 41 minutes.

Murray has shown signs of regaining his best form in recent months as he had threatened to upset the likes of Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev, Casper Ruud and Hurkacz.

In his third clash against Hurkacz on hard courts in just over two months, Murray produced arguably his best set of tennis in 2021 as he took the challenge to the world No 10 in the opener, fashioning two break points as early as the third game.

Solid on his own serve, Murray’s graft paid off on the Hurkacz serve in game nine as he got the crucial break before holding to take the opening set.

The fifth-seeded Pole upped his game in the second set and Murray initially produced some loose shots in game six as Hurkacz fashioned three break points only for the three-time Grand Slam winner to somehow conjured up a hold.

Hurkacz then had to battle to hold his own serve as Murray failed to capitalise on the two break points in the next game before the set eventually went to the tie-breaker.

After sharing four mini-breaks early on, things stayed on serve with Murray having a match point on 5-6, but he could not deliver the knockout blow and Hurkacz eventually wore him down to take the match to a decider.

The Pole had his tail up and looked set to complete a stunning turnaround as he broke in the opening game only for Murray to pull off a brilliant comeback of his own with a break in game two.

With Hurkacz’s forehand floundering, Murray got the game-clinching break in game seven and then came out to serve for the match three games later.

He had another match point at 40-30 and the Pole threw everything at him as he saved the match point and eked out two break points only for Murray to get over the finish line at the third time of asking.

His victory over Hurkacz was his first win against a top 20 player in 2021 while it is also only the second time since 2017 that he has beaten a top 10 player.

Up next is Carlos Alcaraz, whom he beat in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open, after the Spaniard defeated Dan Evans in his opener.

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