Murray Summons Extra Last-Set Magic To Win Indian Wells Opener | ATP Tour
Seven occasions this season Andy Murray has contested a deciding set. Every time, he has produced his finest tennis within the clutch moments to win.
Fortunate No. 7 got here on Thursday on the BNP Paribas Open, the place the Briton beat Tomas Martin Etcheverry 6-7(5), 6-1, 6-4 within the opening spherical. Murray, who gave a glowing report on his health forward of the event, outlasted the Argentine in a three-hour, 12-minute match to arrange a second-round assembly with fifteenth seed Pablo Carreno Busta.
“In a number of the matches I managed to win this 12 months, I felt like I used to be lucky in a few of them, whereas immediately I actually had a number of probabilities in that third set,” Murray mentioned after the win, referring to his eight break probabilities within the closing set. “I wasn’t getting them and was getting actually pissed off. He was arising with some large serves at occasions however I additionally felt like I made some poor choices as properly. The extra probabilities that glided by the extra you consider it.
“I did very well to maintain going ultimately… One other brutal match and glad I managed to get via it.”
Murray: ‘Bodily The Finest I Have Felt For A Lengthy Time’
Whereas Murray didn’t want to save lots of a match level on this event — he saved eight final month in Doha, the place he gained 4 three-setters to succeed in his 71st tour-level closing — he did should combat off two break factors at 3-4 within the closing set. The 35-year-old scored the decisive break on his fifth break level of the following sport on an Etcheverry double fault.
Ethceverry troubled Murray within the early levels along with his aggressive baselinegame, combining energy and spin to nice impact. In an exciting first-set tie-break, he thwarted a Murray go try with quick palms on the internet and later clipped the very fringe of the road with a forehand winner on set level, leaving Murray incredulous.
Murray countered with depth and precision to show the match round, ending with 28 winners to his opponent’s 36. The 2009 Indian Wells finalist closed out the win along with his sixth ace.
The Briton didn’t drop serve within the closing two units, saving all three break factors towards him. He created 20 break probabilities on return, together with 10 within the opening set and eight within the third. Murray additionally transformed on his solely two break factors within the second set to pressure a deciding set. He stays undefeated in closing units this 12 months after a pair of five-set wins on the Australian Open and his 4 Doha marathons.
“I do not suppose it’s a coincidence, however final 12 months I misplaced a number of them,” he mentioned of his file in deciding units. “I used to be speaking to my staff about it, simply saying just like the regulation of averages… this could’t maintain going. As soon as I gained one I did really feel like I’d begin to really feel extra comfy in these conditions. Fortunately that is been the case. Clearly successful all seven, I am conscious that at some stage I will lose one among them.
“I labored very arduous within the offseason to place myself in an important place bodily, and I really feel very motivated. Even after I’ve gotten behind in matches I’ve stored preventing, stored looking for options… I gained some matches that definitely if a few of these matches had been performed final 12 months I would not have gained them.”
Later Thursday night, Adrian Mannarino spoiled the Indian Wells return of Dominic Thiem, who was taking part in his first match within the desert since successful the 2019 title. With an exciting 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(5) victory, Mannarino gained his second straight match towards the Austrian, with Thiem now main their ATP Head2Head collection 8-2.
“I knew if I used to be simply taking part in my sport I’d lose this match,” mentioned Mannarino, who gained 22 of 35 internet factors. “So I used to be attempting to step up slightly bit, be slightly bit extra aggressive, and it labored out.
“I returned fairly properly within the large moments, and I believe that was the important thing.”
In a match stuffed with momentum shifts, Thiem gained 9 of 11 video games to show an early 0-2 gap right into a 6-4, 3-0 lead. However for the second straight set, the person who secured the primary break misplaced the set, with Mannarino rattling off 5 straight video games from 1-4 to pressure a decider. The Frenchman broke first within the closing set, just for Thiem to degree at 4-4. Simply two factors went towards serve within the closing 4 video games of the match, setting the stage for a dramatic tie-break.
Thiem surged forward 4/2 with two moments of brilliance. A ripped down-the-line backhand go adopted a drop shot to make it 3/2, setting the stage for a defensive masterclass that secured a mini-break for 4/2. However Mannarino’s consistency and well timed assaults proved the distinction down the stretch, with 4 of the ultimate 5 factors going the best way of the 34-year-old.
Subsequent up for Mannarino is Nineteenth-seeded Italian Lorenzo Musetti.
With the defeat, Thiem fell to 1-7 on the season. He earned his lone victory towards Alex Molcan final month in Buenos Aires.
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