Andy Murray saves 3 MPs in thrilling Doha win | ATP Tour

Andy Murray saves 3 MPs in thrilling Doha win | ATP Tour

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Another week, another Andy Murray comeback win in 2023.

The 46-time tour-level world champion showed his signature resilience at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open on Monday to win in the first round against Lorenzo Sonego 4-6 1-6 7-6 (4). The two-time champion saved three match points before prevailing at the ATP 250 tournament.

Murray saved match points from 4-5, 15/40 with his own serve in the deciding set and later trailed 0/3 in the deciding tiebreaker. From there, however, the 35-year-old upped his level in style, winning seven of the last eight points to clinch a 2 hour 30 minute win.

“It was really tough,” Murray said after the game. “We’ve never played or practiced together before, so I wasn’t quite sure how the game was going to go and it took me a while to get used to his game.

“He’s a very aggressive player, takes a lot of risks, but it’s risky tennis. He rolled at the end and it looked like he had the momentum but luckily he made a couple of mistakes in the middle of that tie-break and I managed to turn things around.”

It was the second straight tournament that Murray’s match was decided by a deciding set tiebreak in the first round. He also saved a match point before defeating Matteo Berrettini in his opener at the Australian Open in January, where he later went from two sets to 1 to defeat Thanasi Kokkinakis in a second-round epic.

Monday’s win means Murray, a four-time Doha finalist and cup winner in 2008 and 2009, is now 7-0 in the opening round matches of the outdoor hard court event. The 35-year-old Briton will play fourth-placed Alexander Zverev in the second round, who is trying to reach his first ATP Tour quarterfinals of the season.

“He’s obviously one of the top players in the world,” said Murray of Zverev, against whom he leads 2-1 in the ATP Head2Head series. “He had a bad injury [Roland Garros] last year and just got back from it. He’s just going to get better every week.

“He’s not quite up to the level he was in the middle of last year, but injuries like this take time. It’s going to be another great match, hopefully I can build on that.”

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