Andy Murray pulls off another epic comeback to down Lorenzo Sonego in Qatar
Andy Murray is making comebacks his trademark this season and he battled back from a set down yet again in his first match since the Australian Open.
Murray set up a Qatar Open second round clash with Alexander Zverev after he fought back to defeat Lorenzo Sonego 4-6, 6-1, 7-6(4).
In the deciding set, Murray saved the match points from 4-5, 15/40 on his own serve and then fell behind 0/3 in the deciding tie-break.
From there, though, the 35-year-old raised his level of play, taking seven of the final eight points to secure a 150-minute victory.
“It was really tough,” said Murray post-match. “We never played together, or practised with each other before, so I didn’t know exactly how the match was going to go and it took a while to get used to his game.
“He’s a very aggressive player, takes a lot of chances, but it’s high-risk tennis. He rolled the dice at the end, and it looked like he had the momentum. But thankfully in the mid-part of that tie-break he made a couple of mistakes and I managed to turn it around.”
For the second consecutive tour event, a deciding-set tie-break settled Murray’s tournament opener. At the Australian Open in January, he similarly survived a match point before defeating Sonego’s compatriot Matteo Berrettini in his opening round appointment. Later, he overcame a two-set deficit to triumph over Thanasi Kokkinakis in a thrilling second-round battle that went on into the small hours.
After Sonego broke Murray to love in the first game in Qatar, a sluggish start cost the Brit the opening set. No further break points were earned by either player as the Italian took the lead after serving out the opening frame. However, Murray came back strong in the second set, exploding out to a 5-0 lead and proving unstoppable due to his relentless aggression and precise baseline shots from the wings.
Murray is braced for another tough test when he takes on Zverev in the second round.
He hasn’t faced the German very often considering how long they have been on the tour together but leads the series 2-1.
“He’s obviously one of the top players in the world,” said Murray of Zverev. “He had a bad injury at [Roland Garros] last year and is just coming back from that. He’s going to be improving every week just now.
“He’s not quite at the level he was back in the middle of last year, but injuries like that take time. It will be another great match, hopefully I can keep building on this one.”
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