January 19, (THEWILL) – In a match that will go down in history as one of the most thrilling and tempestuous encounters in recent years, Andy Murray fought back from two sets down to beat Thanasi Kokkinakis in the second round of the Australian Open.
The match, which lasted for an astounding 5 hours and 45 minutes, ended past 4am and was the longest-ever match of Murray’s career. The five-time former finalist beat Kokkinakis 4-6, 6-7(4), 7-6(5), 6-3, 7-5 in a match that had the crowd inside Margret Court Arena on the edge of their seats.
Murray, who is known for his resilience and determination, looked to silence the boisterous crowd with a dominant early hold at the start of the match but failure to convert three early break points proved decisive as Kokkinakis’ serve only improved from then on.
Murray was able to dig deep and come back in the third set, securing a vital break with one of the points of the tournament following a sensational rally. As both men started to feel the effects of a gruelling encounter, it was Kokkinakis, who blinked first in the fourth as Murray secured the first break for a 4-2 lead. As Murray served for the match, Kokkinakis missed two opportunities to break back and so they were into a decider.
At this point, just shy of 3am local time, it was Murray’s turn to lose his cool as he launched into a rant at the umpire over the time and the fact the players are not allowed to go to the toilet. Still, Murray held his nerve and moved into the third round for the eighth time in his career at the conclusion of a match that will live long in the memory. He will now face Roberto Bautista Agut, who also needed five sets to beat American Brandon Holt.