Tennis pundits on Andy Murray’s incredible win – ‘Every point with Murray is a chess move’
Andy Murray was lauded for his latest lung-busting win at the Australian Open with Mats Wilander impressed with the former world No 1’s decision-making during the match.
Murray and 13th seed Matteo Berrettini slugged it out for four hours and 49 minutes in their first-round encounter on Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday.
The three-time Grand Slam winner looked to be in control as one break in the opening set and two in the second set gave him a 2-0 lead, but the Italian stormed back to take the next two sets and then had a match point in game 10 of the decider.
After Berrettini missed the chance, Murray went on to take the match on the super tie-breaker to secure a 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-7 (7-9), 7-6 (10-6) victory.
Former world No 1 and Eurosport pundit Wilander explained what impressed him most about the Scot.
“It’s the physical effort you have to put in. But for me it’s all about emotions. He’s got to want and need this win and the decisions which Murray makes at the end (of the match) were just brilliant. Every point with Murray is a chess move,” he said.
“When you’re watching him from the outside and can see the work he’s put in, we still believe he can do it. But when you haven’t done it yourself for some time it makes such a huge difference. You have to remember it’s four or five years ago since he won these types of matches, time flies for us, but for him that feels like a long time ago.”
Murray will face either Thanasi Kokkinakis or Fabio Fognini for a place in the third round and he admitted during his on-court interview that he will “feel” the effects of the long match later.
Former British No 1 Tim Henman hailed Murray’s character, especially after his injury struggles over the past few years as he missed several months after undergoing hip replacement surgery.
“Incredible performance, he’s been around for a long time and played some incredible matches in these tournaments especially at the Australian Open – he’s been in the final five times,” he told said.
“Knowing what he’s been through with the hip surgery and playing Berrettini who’s an amazing player at the top of the game. And for Murray to come through in those circumstances – up two sets, then back to two sets all and serving second in the fifth set, but he found a way to get across the line and that speaks volumes about his character, person and as a player.
“He has lost quite a few of those big matches, which frustrates him and I think motivates him as well. There are people who don’t believe he can make a run in a Slam but he is the one that has the belief, so to see him come through against a proper player, the first round of a Slam is unbelievable and if possible even increase that motivation for him and keep putting in the hard yards as it’s not going to be easy in the next round.
“It’s almost like he’s had two separate careers, with the time he’s had away his body has had to adjust to that. And the level of tennis he was playing last year and I don’t think he was playing particularly well. But now you see a performance like this, his movement his stamina, his endurance his quality of tennis came together and that is incredible to watch.”
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