Andy Murray offers Matteo Berrettini in the first round of the Australian Open

A rabid dog on the court, Andy Murray never fails to show a very British sense of humor when he gets the chance. After nearly five hours of effort against Matteo Berrettini and a Homeric victory, Murray did not fail to specify that “I will feel it pass tonight. And tomorrow. But now, I’m so happy and proud of myself. » And he could be. By beating Berrettini, he had just ended a six-year drought in the face of the top 20 Grand Slams. He also saved a match point in the fifth set. Berrettini must also still wonder how he was able to send his backhand passing into the middle of the net on this shot.

He may also wonder why he was so passive during the first two sets. Because, without taking anything away from the performance of an Andy Murray who never gave up, the Italian was only a spectator in the first two sets. Worried glances at his box, low forehands from the net, he did not exude confidence. And if the score was not more severe, it was because Berrettini could count on his service (31 aces) to glean some free points. For the rest, he was maneuvering like a novice when he was still a semi-finalist here last year. But to get into your head and outsmart you, Murray lands there. And if he has necessarily lost stamina and mobility since his hip operations, he has lost nothing in vice (in a good way).

But even with two sets in advance, the case was not folded. The Briton began to feel tired. With ten years younger on the clock, Berrettini took the opportunity to recover and return to the game by finally approaching his true level. Murray saw his opponent come back to two sets everywhere and one could wonder if we had not witnessed one of his many last stand.

Except that, it is said, Murray does not let go. Especially not in this breathtaking fifth set which pushed the two men to a super tie-break. Once again, Murray was more effective there (34 fouls in the match against 59 at Berrettini). He got three match points and the first was stopped enough by the net to end up out of Berrettini’s reach.


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