Miracle man Andy Murray has pulled off an incredible comeback to win his first grand slam match since 2018 and advance to the second round of the US Open.
The 33-year-old went down two sets to love against Japan’s Yoshihito Nishioka but claimed the next two sets in a tiebreak before icing the fifth to score a 4-6 4-6 7-6 7-6 6-4 victory for the ages.
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Competing in his first major since hip surgery, Murray showed all the steely resolve that has driven him to three career grand slam titles. His body has let him down badly in recent years and he was hobbling by the end of proceedings — but that didn’t dampen his enthusiasm for one of his most memorable performances ever.
The win is even more remarkable when you consider tennis stars from around the world paid tribute to Murray in what was essentially a retirement video at the 2019 Australian Open in January — but he’s refused to walk away, despite all his injury dramas.
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The world No. 115 was seeking an ice bath at the end of his four hour, 39-minute epic as tennis fans were left in awe of Murray’s warrior-like effort.
New York Times tennis writer Christopher Clarey said Murray “deserves a knighthood” for being able to win that match with a “titanium hip” while French journalist Carole Bouchard hailed his comeback as a “freaking miracle”.
British writer Mike Dickson called the match a “remarkable performance”, while CNN’s Jill Martin tweeted: “What an amazing effort by Andy Murray. I’m honestly stunned he won this.”
On Twitter, Nick Harris praised Murray’s “astonishing” win and Richard Cusack wrote: “Wow. What a comeback from Andy Murray. Quite simply astonishing.”
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Andy Murray pulled off the unthinkable.Source:AFP
Players are prevented from using ice baths because of health restrictions in this COVID-19 world but if ever a situation called for that rule to be relaxed, this was it.
“They have one in the locker room and they said it’s for emergencies. For me, this is an emergency right now,” Murray said.
“I’m tired. My toes are the worst part. Big toes on both sides are pretty beat up. But I did alright.
“I was apprehensive about playing a long match because I hadn’t played one for a long time. Once I got two sets down I had to start putting the afterburners on.
“My body hurts. That’s by far the most tennis I’ve played since 2019.”
THIEM ON TRACK
Elsewhere, Dominic Thiem was ushered into the second round of the US Open in a match cut short when opponent Jaume Munar retired after the second set.
No. 2 seed Thiem appeared to be heading towards victory after taking a two sets to love lead on Louis Armstrong Stadium. Munar abandoned before the start of the third set, with Austria’s Thiem leading 7-6 (8-6) 6-3.
Thiem, 26, is chasing a first-ever grand slam singles title after a series of near-misses in recent years.
The Austrian right-hander lost the final of the Australian Open earlier this year and was also beaten in the final of the French Open in 2018 and 2019.
He has never gone beyond the quarter-finals of the US Open, where he reached the last eight in 2018.
Thiem now faces India’s Sumit Nagal in the second round.
Nagal became the first Indian man since 2013 to reach the second round of a grand slam event with a 6-1 6-3 3-6 6-1 win over Bradley Klahn of the United States.
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