Indian Wells: Former World no. 1 Andy Murray has pulled off another marathon win, coming through a three hour and 12-minute battle with Argentina’s Tomas Martin Etcheverry 6-7(5), 6-1, 6-4 in the Indian Wells opener.
The three-hour and 12-minute triumph Thursday was one of many marathon matches for the three-time Grand Slam winner, who has earned a bit of a reputation for these kinds of wins in 2023. Murray has competed in 10 matches this season, with a whopping 70 per cent of them going to a deciding set.
With this win, he improves to 7-0 in deciding sets in 2023, and 7-3 overall. He will next take on 15th-seed Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta.
The Brit put constant pressure on the 61st-ranked Argentine, earning 20 break points and converting four. He saved four of five break points overall.
Ethceverry troubled Murray in the early stages with his aggressive baseline game. 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.
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. He remains undefeated in final sets this year after a pair of five-set wins at the Australian Open and his four Doha marathons.
“He was coming up with some big serves at times but I also felt like I made some poor decisions as well. The more chances that went by the more you think about it,” Murray said on the court after the win. “I did really well to keep going in the end. Another brutal match and glad I managed to get through it.”
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