January 17, (THEWILL) – Andy Murray secured a historic win in the first round of the Australian Open, overcoming 13th seed Matteo Berrettini in a five-set thriller that lasted four hours and 49 minutes.
The match, which ended 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-7(7), 7-6(10-5) in Murray’s favor, was the first time the 35-year-old Briton had defeated a player in the Top 20 at a Grand Slam in over four years. Murray, who is a five-time finalist at the Australian Open, employed a combination of shotmaking and clever tactics to outsmart Berrettini, who is known for his powerful forehand.
The match was closely contested, with neither player able to break serve in the final two sets, and the result hinged on late drama in the fourth and fifth sets. Murray came close to match point twice in the fourth set tie-break but was thwarted by Berrettini’s brilliance. However, the Briton left nothing to chance in the fifth set, racing out to a 5-0 lead in the tie-break before clinching victory.
The win marked Murray’s 50th at the Australian Open, and he is the fifth player in the Open Era to reach that milestone. He also extended a streak of his own, as it has been 18 years since he has lost from a two-sets-to-love lead.
Murray will next face either Italian Fabio Fognini or Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis in the second round. Berrettini, who had not lost in the first round of a major since the 2019 Australian Open, will now have to regroup for the rest of the season.