Andy Murray beats Frances Tiafoe at European Open in Antwerp

Andy Murray gained the European Open in 2019 – his first and solely singles title since career-saving hip surgical procedure earlier that yr

Britain’s Andy Murray confirmed all of his high quality and combat to edge previous Frances Tiafoe in an exciting European Open first-round match in Antwerp.

Murray saved two match factors earlier than taking a second of his personal to win 7-6 (7-2) 6-7 (7-9) 7-6 (10-8) in a tense battle lasting three hours 45 minutes.

The Scot, 34, got here from two breaks down – and a set level – to win the opener earlier than his American opponent hit again.

Momentum fluctuated within the deciding tie-break however Murray edged residence.

From 8-7 down, he held his service factors earlier than sealing victory with a backhand dropshot which a scampering Tiafoe may solely bat again into the web.

In a mark of their mutual respect, the pair loved a heat hug on the internet earlier than Murray stopped his post-match interview to heartily clap his opponent off the courtroom.

Murray will play Argentine second seed Diego Schwartzman, who obtained a first-round bye, within the second spherical on Thursday.

“I believe that is the primary time in my profession I’ve performed a 7-6 6-7 7-6. I do not assume I’ve ever performed a match like that,” stated Murray, who added he can be glad to have a break day earlier than his subsequent match.

“I believe it is the longest three-set match I’ve performed by a distance. I am drained, clearly.

“It was an unbelievable battle. He saved arising with good serves and nice photographs after I was getting possibilities.

“I do not thoughts taking part in lengthy matches however that was taking it to a different degree.”

The three-time Grand Slam champion has dropped to 172nd on the earth after his factors for successful this occasion in 2019 – which got here simply 9 months after he had main surgical procedure to depart him with a metallic hip – coming off the rankings.

However Murray once more confirmed in opposition to Tiafoe – a former Australian Open quarter-finalist now ranked forty eighth – why he nonetheless believes he can win extra titles on the ATP Tour.

After shedding to German world quantity 4 Alexander Zverev within the Indian Wells third spherical, Murray confirmed his frustration at shedding and stated afterwards he felt his degree was “50 or 60 on the earth”.

Murray proved that within the victory in opposition to Tiafoe, serving significantly nicely all through as he hit 21 aces and backed that up with a strong second serve.

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