Britain’s Andy Murray turned into a vintage version of himself at the Australian Open to overcome Italy’s Matteo Berrettini in an absorbing affair at the Rod Laver Arena.
The three-time grand slam winner thought to be way past his prime, earned a 6-3 6-3 4-6 6-7(7) 7-6 (10-6) win in a match that lasted for more than 4 1/2 hours.
Murray, a five-time runner-up in Australia, stormed out of the gates to a two-set lead against his much-favoured opponent in front of a vociferous crowd mostly consisting of his supporters. The Italian refused to go away quietly and fought back to send the game into a deciding final set.
Berreteni, previously 7-1 in five-set matches, appeared to have the upper hand in the decider and even managed to muster up a matchpoint while leading 5-4. It was then Murray’s turn to showcase his resilience one last time to earn a memorable win.
By beating Berrettini, Murray became only the fifth man in the Open era to win 50 Australian Open matches. He joins an exclusive club of Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Stefan Edberg to have achieved the feat.
He will next take on either Fabio Fognini or Thanasi Kokkinakis.
Joining Murray in the next round are No. 5 Andrey Rublev, No. 8 Taylor Fritz, No. 9 Holger Rune and No. 27 Grigor Dimitrov.
Over at the women’s bracket, Caroline Garcia, Aryna Sabalenka, Anett Kontaveit, and Karolína Plíšková were the notable winners on the second day of action.
The no 4 seed Novak Djokovic and the women’s no 2 seed Ons Jabeur are in action later today.