Andy Murray Beats Matteo Berrettini in Epic 5-Set Match at Australian Open

ANDY MURRAY sensationally survived a match point to claim his biggest scalp at a Slam for almost six years as he showed ‘Streamboat’ Matteo Berrettini the end credits at the Australian Open.

Under a closed Rod Laver Arena roof, the Scot, 35, celebrated his best victory since career-saving hip surgery with a stunning 6-3 6-3 4-6 6-7 7-6 triumph – his 50th win in 17 years on Melbourne Park.

Andy Murray is in to round twoCredit: Reuters

The Scot looked emotional to get a win under his beltCredit: AFP

Andy Murray won his 50th career match at the Australian OpenCredit: AP

He sent 13th seed Matteo Berrettini packingCredit: Getty

For Murray, this was the first time he had contested a fifth-set tie-breaker at this level of competition.

This represents his first victory against a top-20 player at one of the four top majors since overcoming Japan’s Kei Nishikori in the 2017 French Open quarter-finals in Paris.

That was the tournament when the then world number one inflamed his hip so badly in intense combat in the semi-finals it sent him on a downward spiral in which he came close to quitting tennis altogether.

Since being rebuilt by medics and learning to cope with a titanium rod, it has been a long road back to the elite level of the sport.

But Muzza produced a wonderfully belligerent and determined performance to knock out the No.13 seed from Rome.

It means he has gained revenge for that loss to the Italian Stallion at the US Open in New York last September which left him wondering if he could make serious inroads over the best-of-five-sets.

Berrettini, 26, is one of several stars who have headlined the opening five episodes of the new Netflix tennis streaming show Break Point.

But the guy with the matinee idol looks and Hugo Boss contract, who served at 130mph-plus, was eventually left on the cutting-room floor by the outstanding Murray.

The roof on the premier court was shut for the start of this first-round clash because of the extreme heat conditions.

All play on the outside courts were suspended for several hours as temperatures reached 36 degrees and it was considered too dangerous to hit competitive tennis balls.

Turning this essentially into an indoor competition was an advantage to Murray who had a better chance of blunting one of the fastest serves in the sport.

Berrettini, the 2021 Wimbledon finalist, was broken in his opening service games of the first and second set.

And Murray’s serve, which had let him down at times in recent years, was a markedly improved weapon, typified by the 121mph ace that sealed the opening set.

At 2-0 sets up, it was Murray’s to lose and the last thing he would have wanted was for this to go the full distance.

He had chances to go 3-1 up in the third set but wasted his two break-point opportunities and Berrettini eventually clawed a set back in just under an hour.

The fourth set went with serve and Berrettini overpowered the Brit in the ensuing tie-break.

As he started to struggle physically, and he had cut his shin from a fall, Murray was living dangerously on the edge.

Particularly when he was lucky to survive a match point when Berrettini inexplicably hit his return into the net.

The two-time Wimbledon champion never does things easy and this ended being another one for the rollercoaster reel as he prevailed in the deciding-set 10-point tie-break.

Even his coach Ivan Lendl, who has swapped the Florida golf links for a seat in the stands, could not believe what he was watching.

His next challenge will be either Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis or Italian Fabio Fognini on Thursday but after this epic victory who would bet against him prolonging his stay at the Happy Slam.

Murray cut his knee on the way to victoryCredit: Reuters

He reflected on his win at the endCredit: Getty


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